Wednesday, January 09, 2013

An Update From Coalition For Carroll Gardens On Proposed Homeless Shelter On West Ninth Street

Here is an update from Coalition For Carroll Gardens (CGC), a group of community residents and business owners who have raised serious questions regarding a planned homeless shelter for 170 men at 165 West 9th Street.   After meetings with Housing Solutions USA/Aguila Inc., the non-profit organization that proposed the shelter, and Department of Homeless Services (DHS) failed to resolve some of the issue, the Coalition collected a total of $20,000 to retain attorney Steven Kirkpatrick as legal council.

On the Coalition's behalf, Kirkpatrick filed Article 78 proceeding against the City.On November 20, Kings County Supreme Justice David Schmidt issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)prohibiting the City and its contractors from “using the Building in violation of applicable laws and requirements.”
On December 7th, Judge Carl Landisino continued the TRO and gave the group until January 25, 2012 to put in additional papers and for the respondents to reply.
In order to continue legal action, CCG is asking for donations from the community to cover costs.

The Coalition's update below addresses what has been accomplished so far and what the next steps are:

The proposal to house 170 men is wildly out of proportion with the original intended use of the building, creating an illegal & unsafe situation for clients & neighbors alike.

Housing Solutions USA & its board members have numerous connections to shelter operators with a history of running substandard, dangerous, & crime-ridden facilities (eg the Aladdin Shelter on West 45th St operated by Housing Solutions USA).

A no bid contract City contract awards tax payer money of $520K a month. “Tunnel Condos”, the listed landlord, has ties to Stuart Podolsky,
a convicted felon, who is also listed as the building’s contact on the DOB filings up to 2010.

165 West 9th st, built by an architect now barred from filing plans in NYC, has been empty since its construction over ten years ago due to code violations & no legal Certificate of Occupancy.

• CCG is a growing coalition of over 120 families, 700 residents & representatives from their buildings & coop boards and 100 businesses.


• CCG has retained an attorney, Steven Kirkpatrick, from Belkin, Burden Wenig & Goldman, LLP to represent us in a lawsuit against NYC.


• On December 7th, the Honorable Carl Landicino granted a continuation of the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that requires the respondents to comply with all applicable
laws regarding the opening & operation of the proposed shelter until the next hearing date scheduled for January 25, 2013. The City is currently attempting to have the case dismissed so that they can move forward on the proposed 170 bed men’s shelter.


• We have limited time to scrutinize & refute the claims of the City. CCG cannot continue to fund the attorney & our case without help from YOU!


• All money is directed through the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association & goes directly towards legal costs.

To donate online, go to or send checks payable to:
CGNA (Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association)Mail to: RY Management, 505 Court St., Brooklyn, NY 11231


Anonymous said...

Homeless people are people too. NIMBY folks make me want to puke.

Anonymous said...

Yeah you say that, but I'm sure if they were going to make this next to your house it would be a diffrent story

Anonymous said...

Yes homeless men need a place too, but this is a process of handing over large sums of public funds to the benefit of those involved here who have a track record of being very kind to those in need of housing.
Can't we spend our public funds in a way that insures all those funds go towards helping the homeless?
Should our city be rewarding flawed developments with such plush contracts?

The goal is to house homeless men not bail out those who don't play by the city rules in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Is there a fund I can donate to support the shelter opening? I want to see this good cause happen!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, of all the causes and charities that could use my or your assistance... this is not even in the top 10,000.

You'd think so-called "Carroll Gardens" was the new Brooklyn Heights these crybabies have gotten so bad...

Just breath deep, people, the more Hamilton Avenue & BQE fumes you suck in the better. (Too bad the awful pollution there isn't a "sexy" cause like scarifying some homeless dudes... Would also sing property values... which is SHOULD.)

Anonymous said...

Overcrowding homless men is a bad idea in any neighborhood. This is unsafe for the homless men!

We want to live with homless men and families in Carroll Gardens and help them improve their misfortunes.

This proposal is about greed and how many bunkbeds can be placed in a medical office without proper fire exits. They will charge $18,000/night to pack these men into the building that has CO for 10 apartments. That should be criminal.

Sam said...

I don't think people always understand what sharing is all about. And it is not part of the fabric of any city that neighborhoods have to be exclusive, pure, or segregated. Showing charity to others, especially strangers, is something that does not come easy to most people, sadly. So this territorial posturing is not surprising, nor is it disappointing. It is just very common and usual. Unremarkable in its predictability and mediocrity.

Those who have abundance often close themselves off because they think they have so much to lose. And those who have nothing to lose are often in a position to be much more honest and open. It's not always black and white, but, in this case, it is almost as stark as that.

I don't think we can count on special interest groups and organizations like Coalition for Carroll Gardens or the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association to do the right thing. So we count on the kindness of strangers and the grace of the actually graceful. Be suspicious of people who are not generous or not tolerant of those not like them. The measure of who we are is how well we do under pressure, not how well we do when things are easy.

Anonymous said...

There sure are a lot of selfish citizens in Carroll Gardens. I thought this was an old Catholic neighborhood? What would Jesus do?

Anonymous said...

Read through this Blog and you'll see that our Community wants MORE (not less) affordable housing for the Gowanus apartments planned for our neighborhood. We ARE NOT objecting to providing housing for homeless or poor. We are objecting to overcrowding homeless men in unsafe conditions so that an unscrupulous developer can be richer.

C.G. Family since before St. Agnes was built said...

The building was designed for 10 apartments - with an average of 2 to 4 people in each.

Why not "house" homeless families?

10 Homeless Families!

Why should children be subjected to the "Warehouse / Barracks" style of current family shelters? It's very scary for them and often un-safe!

Think about the children!

Sam said...

I noticed that someone here said "we", as if speaking for ALL of Carroll Gardens. You should only speak for yourself (or your clubhouse, the CCG), because there is no majority "we" in Carroll Gardens who oppose the shelter. Most people I know in the area are very charitable and are NOT opposed to the shelter. It is the vocal minority, otherwise known as the Coalition for Carroll Gardens, that is spreading fear and paranoia about the shelter.

Having ten families in ten units is not called a shelter, that is called an "apartment program". It is distinctly different from a shelter. You should know the difference if you are in the discussion here. You need to know what you're talking about before you can make a valuable difference.

Also, just because Carroll Gardens has got so much better in the last 15 to 20 years, doesn't mean there's not still room for our less fortunate brothers and sisters. The shelter is an opportunity for local residents to get involved in what is a big New York City problem - homelessness. You could do more by volunteering and making sure the shelter is one of the good ones, rather than freaking out like a lynch mob and attempting to throw them out.

And as far as your claims that this shelter is "corrupt"... Most of the city agencies are corrupt. The mayor and the city council are corrupt. Marty Markowitz is partially corrupt in his dealings with zoning and development and other dealings. Almost all of the politicians have had to cut corrupt deals of one sort or another. The Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association, along with John Heyer, Maria Pagano, and the Buddy Scotto funeral home fall into the category of unsavory and/or corrupt. The local community board and Craig Hammerman are terribly corrupt. The MTA is corrupt. Con Ed is corrupt. Time Warner is corrupt. Most of the banks and financial services are corrupt. You live in a still half-Mafia neighborhood. Who are you fooling? Why are you going after a shelter? You're going after the shelter because it's tender prey, an easy target. And you don't have the time or the stomach to go after some of the real sources of the city's problems. Start by demanding more from the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association, like an actual election and get involved. Improve the level of conversations in Carroll Gardens and elsewhere. Go after lackeys like Craig Hammerman and his corrupt Community Board 6 and the rest of the enablers, yes-men/women, and jellyfish on CB6. You need to get to the root, rather than victimizing people in need right after Hurricane Sandy. You seem to have forgotten Hurricane Sandy, some of you.

Anonymous said...

Going down the rabbit hole on the homeless shelter is blowing my mind. First off, the city is paying $3,000 per person per month to the developer to provide shelter to 170 people in what is currently a 10 unit residential building.

Doing the math, the economic incentives are there… $3000 per person is more than one would pay to rent an apartment in this neighborhood. Now blow that up and cram 17 people in one apartment! That is $51,000 per unit per month. You can do the math for 10 units over a year. The developer does not have to provide any meals, vocational or life skill services and only has to maintain the building and pay the utilities. It takes AT MOST $10,000 per month to maintain and pay utilities for a building this size. Redo the math from above.

So is cramming 170 people in a 10-unit residential building legal? The answer is no… for now. The developer has been wanting to cram the building for a year now with its current residential designation and DHS and the city was just going to let them, claiming that this is perfectly legal. The community group that has organized against this brought the city to court last November and was successful in getting a temporary restraining order. Again, both DHS and the developers are claiming that this is perfectly legal. IT IS NOT and their claims are false. This is evident by the filing I discovered with DOB made on 1/2/13, well after the injunction, to convert the building to an I-2 Institutional classification which will require changes to the building egress and possibly having to add additional bathrooms. After this application is approved and changes are made then the building will be legal for the developer’s intended use.

So there is no liability for the intent to defraud or the false claims, in court and to the media by the DHS and the developer, that the building in its residential condition is legal for occupying 170 people and they will ultimately prevail! On the bright side of things; If it was not for the community group you would have had 170 people living in a fire trap, sharing amenities intended for 30 people at most.

And here is the kicker after being kicked a whole bunch of times. The building was originally designed by Brooklyn’s favorite architect/destroyer and was not designed to code to begin with!

This just makes me mad!

Anonymous said...

The application filed on 1/2/13 to covert the building to istitutional is 320581562. You can find it here: