Community outraged over new housing for homeless

Posted: Updated:
THE BRONX -

A developer's decision to turn a market-rate housing project into housing for homeless families caused outrage last week.

Overcrowded schools and the decline of property value were some of the concerns at last Thursday's land-use committee meeting.

The Stagg Group's decision to change a market-rate housing development at 5731 Broadway to a homeless shelter is being called a bait-and-switch move by many in the community.

CEO Mark Stagg says the installation of stainless steel appliances and other extras the units have are examples of the company's initial plans for market-rate housing.

He says despite the controversy, he stands by his decision to change the project.

"I feel like it is the right thing to do," Stagg says. "I feel like the communities that don't have their fair share should have their fair share."

A Community Board 8 spokesman told News 12 in a statement: "If the judgement is made that there should be homeless housing there, it should be permanent. Not turnstile housing."

A public contract hearing on the issue is planned in two weeks, but the facility may open to families before then as long as the building and nonprofit service providers are ready.

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