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Listen: LAS Rips City, UWS NIMBY Campaign to Evict Homeless New Yorkers

Joshua Goldfein, Staff Attorney with the Homeless Rights Project at The Legal Aid Society, joined City Council Member Helen Rosenthal on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show to provide an update on advocates’ efforts to protect the rights of homeless New Yorkers who are currently residing at the Lucerne Hotel, LIC Plaza Hotel, Harmonia Shelter, Flatlands Shelter, and other facilities.

Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio capitulated to Upper West Side not in my back yard-ism and announced that his Administration would begin transferring homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel. Legal Aid responded with the threat of a lawsuit if the City didn’t properly assess the needs of each resident and ensure proper accommodations, as prescribed by law. The City announced on Monday that it has paused all transfers while negotiations play out with stakeholders.

“The mayor has a plan which assumes that there will be tens of thousands of people in shelter in perpetuity,” Goldfein said. “He did not have a plan to rehouse people. Last night, for the first time ever, we had more than 18,000 people in the single adult shelter system. Why is that? Because the Mayor has failed to provide enough affordable housing opportunities for people in shelter.”

Listen to the full episode below.