Could this be the nicest homeless shelter in America? The Daily News is reporting that the city is paying $90 a night per apartment for the use of a failed luxury condo development — which features granite countertops, marble bathrooms and walk-in closets. (The $90 a night figure includes social services, housing help and job counseling designed to get families back on their feet.) Local residents, some of them interested in renting an apartment in the building, are pretty ticked off.
Neighbors were furious the 67-unit building on East New York Ave., where apartments were supposed to sell for $250,000 to $350,000, has been turned into a shelter.
“I’m a hardworking taxpayer, and I don’t think homeless people should be living better than me,” fumed Desmond John, 35, a window salesman who wanted to rent one of the fancy apartments. “They said it’s not for rent. It’s a shelter. I was shocked.”
The lucky residents are thrilled with the arrangement, however:
“When I first saw it, I was like, ‘Damn, everything is brand new,’” said Raymond, who wouldn’t give his last name. “It has marble counters and marble floors in the bathrooms, too. I like the big kitchen. That’s my favorite.”
The developer is also excited about the deal, and though he wouldn’t tell the paper how much of the $90 a night he’s getting, he did say that he’s been able to keep the building, avoid default and stay current on his mortgage.
“This is a case of innovation and outside-the-box thinking that benefits all those involved,” Department of Homeless Services spokeswoman Heather Janik told the Daily News.
City turns upscale building in Crown Heights into homeless shelter [Daily News]