By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — Upper West Siders say they'll confront city officials Tuesday night over a plan to move a homeless facility into a West 94th Street building that's now a hotel.
Neighborhood group Neighborhood in the Nineties says it will stage a protest at Community Board 7's Health and Human Services Committee meeting at 7 p.m. at 250 West 87th Street.
Officials from the city's Department of Homeless Services and nonprofit Samaritan Village are expected to present plans at the meeting for a 200-bed transitional housing facility for homeless men at 306 W. 94th Street.
The building, a single-room occupancy building, is now the Hotel Alexander, which caters to budget travelers. It's also home to some low-income residents who've lived there for years. The building's management recently offered residents $50,000 each and three years of free rent to leave.
Local officials want SRO buildings like the Hotel Alexander to remain cheap rental housing for low-income residents. They fought to pass a new law last year that makes it illegal to operate SRO buildings as hotels. That law goes into affect in May.
In the case of the Hotel Alexander, the building owners signed a deal to convert the building into a homeless facility. The move has drawn harsh criticism from local officials including City Councilwoman Gale Brewer and Rep. Charles Rangel, who recently rallied against the plan.
Aaron Biller, president of Neighborhood in the Nineties, says his neighborhood is "overburdened" with too much housing for the homeless, drug addicted and mentally ill.
Biller said at a recent Community Board 7 meeting that he and his neighbors have "compassion fatigue" because their neighborhood has more than its fair share of housing for people with special needs.