Community leaders call to end inequitable shelters in the Bronx

Rafael Moure, the district manager from Community Board 6, says that there are already 14 other shelters within the radius of the proposed site on Webster Avenue.

Cecilia Hua and

News 12 Staff

Sep 14, 2023, 9:28 PM

Updated 219 days ago

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Bronx community board leaders are banding together to call on the City Council to end what they say is inequitable homeless shelter policies. 
After learning the news that another Department of Homeless Services shelter will be opening in the Bronx, district managers from Community Boards 1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6 and 12 penned a letter to Council Member Diana Ayana for help with the "ongoing shelter siting and oversight crisis in New York City."
In the letter, Bronx leaders say DHS has been opening shelter sites with no consideration for the communities. With the "Fair Share" policy not in effect due to the ongoing housing crisis, they say their districts have become over-saturated with homeless shelters. 
"With DHS unwilling to create a citywide policy, the real estate industry is deciding where shelters go," the letter says.
Rafael Moure, the district manager from Community Board 6, says that there are already 14 other shelters within the radius of the proposed site on Webster Avenue. 
"To say that that is not impacting the neighborhood or doesn't require further consideration on how it might impact local schools or facilities - DHS was able to avoid that conversation entirely because the Fair Share rules do not apply," says Moure. 
Residents in the area tell News 12 they would rather see more buildings turned into affordable housing. 
"Some of us have been here for 30 good years, and we're still looking for a three-bedroom so we can move in with our family. It's very difficult," says Ahamed Tjani-Dansalley.
DHS tells News 12 that the building will function as a safe haven for around 40 New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. The department provided the following statement: 
"As part of DSS-DHS’s ongoing efforts to improve the shelter system, we have phased-out the use of all sub-par cluster sites citywide, while opening new high-quality sites that more effectively address our clients’ unique needs." 


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