Agency looks to spend $75M on homeless Thursday


The city’s homeless services department will be busy Aug. 17.

It not only plans to present the contract awarding Praxis Housing Initiatives a $26.4 million contract to operate a transitional homeless facility at 5731 Broadway, but it also will consider four other contracts, totaling $48.6 million.

That includes a separate transitional facility at 836 Faile St., in Hunts Point for a little less than $12 million. That property, which has spent recent years in foreclosure, has not exactly been a poster child of quality living. A 2012 posting on the blog The Surreal Estate described the property as “a pretty frightening scene.”

“Tenants complained of not having consistent heat/hot water, horrible rat infestations, a lack of a live-in super, and an aggressive landlord,” Elise Goldin wrote. “Even more, tenants told us the water in their apartments had to be filtered or boiled, otherwise it made them sick.”

Less than a year later, 836 Faile’s new owner, the private equity group Stabilis Capital, started pushing tenants out of the 36 units there, according to the student newspaper The Hunts Point Express.

The city department also is planning to award a pair of $18 million contracts to Jamaica-based Children’s Community Services Inc. for two transitional homeless facilities in Brooklyn — one at 652 Park Ave., near Sumner Houses north of Bedford-Stuyvesant, and the other at multiple addresses on Pulaski Street closer to Bushwick.

The final contract is proposed for Under 21 Covenant House New York to provide services to single homeless youths in the city for just under $425,000.

For Thursday’s meeting, according to the mayor’s contract services department, each agency conducts its own hearings, and anyone wishing to testify is allowed to do s on a first-come basis. Testimony is limited to three minutes, and written testimony can be provided to the hearing secretary at the close of the meeting.

One thing that won’t happen in Thursday’s meeting is a commitment to make any changes to the contract. The entire purpose of the hearing is to hear from the public, according to the department. At the end of the hearing, the agency is expected to weigh testimony before finalizing the contract.

And arriving a little late might be OK for Thursday’s hearing — as long as there’s room to sit. The contract services department is considering 27 different contracts and contract groupings that day, with 5731 Broadway slated at No. 16. Hearings for citywide administrative services, design and construction, finance and fire are all slated ahead of homeless services.

Plans are to open a transitional homeless facility at a new 83-unit apartment building that is nearing completion at 5731 Broadway. The move there is controversial as local officials said they were blindsided by the announcement, and some neighbors and other residents oppose moving previously homeless families into that part of Kingsbridge.

The hearing will begin at 10 a.m., on Thursday, at 1 Centre St., Mezzanine, in Manhattan.