STATEN ISLAND, NY – On August 4, Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) joined New York State Assemblyman Michael Tannousis in calling on New York City mayoral candidates to restore Giuliani/Bloomberg era policies that reduced homeless and transitioned individuals out of homeless shelters instead of warehousing them, as well as improve transparency and public input when determining locations of homeless shelters in the city.
In 2017, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a plan to open roughly 90 new homeless shelters across the five boroughs, including two new shelters on Staten Island in the Grasmere and Stapleton neighborhoods, along with two shelters in Brooklyn in the Bensonhurst and the Bay Ridge or Dyker Heights neighborhoods. The general public, along with local, state, and federal lawmakers, were not given any opportunity to express concerns about the proposed locations.
"I'm very proud to join Assemblyman Tannousis here today, but it's disappointing that we need to be here for this particular reason," said Congresswoman Malliotakis. "I'm not only speaking out against this shelter, but also the one in Stapleton and the ones in the Brooklyn side of my district that the Mayor is proposing. The way this Mayor is conducting business, wanting to build shelters in residential communities, is very disturbing. The Mayor shouldn't be looking to warehouse individuals, but actually, help rehabilitate them, get them the services they need so they can transition out of the shelter system. This city has spent nearly double in homeless services than what was being spent when the Mayor took office in 2014 and yet the problem has only gotten worse."
"It's incumbent on City Hall to make this information public for our constituents," said Assemblyman Tannousis. "I'm here with Congresswoman Malliotakis to call on the three candidates running for Mayor of this city, Eric Adams, Curtis Sliwa, and Bill Pepitone, to change the process by which the City of New York conducts business in regards to homeless shelters. We are asking that they take community input and elected official input into account when they make these decisions."
Video of the press conference is available online: shorturl.at/kqJY7.