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Pols Blast City's Dismissal of Violations for Proposed Homeless Shelter

 A homeless shelter was proposed by the Department of Homeless Services at 165 W. 9th St. in Carroll Gardens.
A homeless shelter was proposed by the Department of Homeless Services at 165 W. 9th St. in Carroll Gardens.
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DNAinfo/Heather Holland

CARROLL GARDENS — Local elected leaders have called for an investigation of a proposed homeless shelter after the city cleared several pending violations despite community concerns, officials say.

Housing Solutions USA had proposed a 170-bed shelter for 165 W. Ninth St., a 10-unit condominium, to the Department of Homeless Services last year.

In May, an audit by the Department of Buildings found “several objections” regarding "Zoning Resolution, Administrative Code and Multiple Dwellings Law," according to a press release from Councilman Brad Lander.

All pending violations for the building have been dismissed except one that remains active, according to the DOB website and Lander’s office.

Locals officials, including Assemblywoman Joan Millman, state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery and Lander, had “communicated extensively” with DHS and DOB “specifically expressing concerns about the fitness and track record of the operator, the procedures by which a contract would be reviewed, and the site’s compliance with zoning,” according to a letter addressed to Rose Gill Hearn, commissioner of the Department of Investigation.

“However, basic safety and integrity concerns appear to have been tossed aside to facilitate this project,” according to the letter, dated Oct. 2.

It was not immediately clear why the violations had been dismissed by DOB.

The Department of Buildings and the Department of Homeless Services did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Housing Solutions USA did not respond to requests for comment.

The three officials have also filed a Freedom of Information Law Request for Records for documents detailing the resolution of the building audit, according to the press release.

“It looks really, really fishy and very, very concerning,” said Paige Bellenbaum, co-chair for Coalition for Carroll Gardens, an advocacy group that is looking to ensure “full community input” for the possible shelter’s development.

Bellenbaum hopes to rally support from the neighborhood and promises “a ground flow of community activity around this."