The following statement was made by Council Member Holden on February 14:
“My office was informed that eight men had moved into 78-16 Cooper Avenue, despite no contract yet signed nor the property having a certificate of occupancy…I spoke directly with DOB Commissioner Melanie La Rocca and her staff earlier today and asked how and why the property was granted a temporary certificate of occupancy, considering there is an ongoing audit of the plans and permits, with fourteen challenges, two of which are safety issues. The DOB claims that they did their due diligence in granting the temporary certificate of occupancy and will continue the audit. Considering the challenges that the Glendale-Middle Village Coalition filed would likely delay the full shelter from opening by six to twelve months, the DHS opted for placement using a temporary certificate of occupancy. This is the DHS’s disgraceful attempt at circumventing the legal process that is currently underway from the Glendale community. No contract has yet been signed, and there are still legal actions on DOB grounds. This fight is not over, despite the DHS acting as a rogue agency and usurping laws, regulations, and process.” The facility currently houses 23 men as we go to press and can house up to 50 before getting final approval from the comptroller.