Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Why nothing ever gets solved

Judge pauses NYC’s push to evict homeless from hotels

A federal judge on Tuesday halted New York City’s push to move 8,000 homeless New Yorkers from hotels and into shelters.

The ruling comes after the Legal Aid Society filed a motion accusing the Department of Homeless Services of violating the rights of people with medical and mental health problems.

DHS is now temporarily blocked from moving anyone with a health condition that might qualify for a waiver to avoid the shelter system, petitioners said.

DHS allegedly failed to perform required health screenings, which potentially endangered homeless people with special needs.

“Today’s decision affirms that the City rushed the moves of homeless New Yorkers from safe placements in hotels back to crowded shelters without meeting its obligations, endangering the lives of New York’s most vulnerable residents,” the Legal Aid Society’s Josh Goldfein and Jenner & Block Partner Dawn Smalls said in a joint statement Tuesday.

The ruling will require the DHS to temporarily stop moving about 5,000 people still being housed in 37 emergency hotel shelters back into the city’s congregate shelter system, according to advocates. Some 3,000 people that were staying in 23 hotels during the pandemic have already been moved.

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