City Shelter Trying to Put 170 People Into 30-Person Space, Lawsuit Says

By Heather Holland on December 4, 2012 5:44pm 

CARROLL GARDENS — A group of Carroll Gardens residents is suing the city — claiming its flawed  site for 170 homeless individuals is planned for a building only meant for 30 people.

In October, Housing Solutions USA proposed a 170-bed shelter for a 10-unit building located at 165 W. Ninth St.

While the plan still awaits approval from the city, The Coalition for Carroll Gardens has filed a lawsuit against the city, the building owner and the shelter providers, saying city housing maintenance codes limit the building's capacity to 30 people.

“Their proposal does not comply with legal requirements,” said Steven Kirkpatrick, the attorney representing CCG. “At the end of the day, we think this is a building that can never be occupied by that many people. This is the wrong building.”

The group argues that the city’s housing maintenance code provides that no more than three unrelated people may occupy an apartment at one time, explained Kirkpatrick.

CCG filed the lawsuit with the State Supreme Court on Nov. 20, and on that day the court granted a temporary restraining order that demanded that the DHS, Housing Solutions USA, and the building owner, Tunnel Condos, use the building in accordance to the law.

A hearing will be held on Dec. 7, and although a resolution will most likely not be made so soon, Kirkpatrick said, the group is hoping to extend the temporary restraining order on that day.

“The city is very sensitive,” said Kirkpatrick. “They never want to be in the position to be contempt of court. They take it very seriously.”

The DHS and Housing Solutions USA did not respond to a request for comment.

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