Controversy reignites over use of Van Cortlandt Motel

Residents are once again not happy after learning the Van Cortlandt Motel is still being used to house the homeless.

Residents are once again not happy after learning the Van Cortlandt Motel is still being used to house the homeless.

Residents are once again not happy after learning the Van Cortlandt Motel is still being used to house the homeless. (9/20/16)

RIVERDALE - The controversy over the use of the Van Cortlandt Motel has once again gained momentum as residents learned the site is still being used to house the homeless.

News 12 reported in May how residents were upset that they were never notified that the hotel was being used as a shelter for homeless men. Sen. Jeff Klein says the Department of Homeless Services did eventually move the men out of the motel, but adds he is once again fired up after learning the location is now being used as a family shelter.

Residents say they understand the need to help the homeless, but feel the community should be notified. They believe they should have a say in what happens in their neighborhood.

A spokesperson for the Department of Homeless Services says, "Commercial hotels provide a temporary bridge as the city continues to open new shelters. Homeless individuals and families come from every neighborhood seeking help, and due in part to the increasing need for temporary shelter space we will not be able to transition from using this space for homeless New Yorkers when originally projected."

However, Sen. Klein says he will continue to fight the issue. Klein says it's not fair to force a community to accept a homeless shelter. He plans to meet with Department of Homeless Services officials over the coming weeks.

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