ELMHURST — The city approved a permanent contract for the controversial Pan Am shelter on the provider’s fourth try, according to the comptroller’s office.
The $23.8 million contract will allow Samaritan Village to operate the more than 200-room family shelter through June 2017, provided they complete specific construction projects to clear up violations and make improvements, officials said.
Comptroller Scott Stringer had denied the shelter’s three other applications, citing concerns about the safety of the former hotel at 7900 Queens Blvd.
Officials with the comptroller’s office said Samaritan Village had either cleared or presented a plan to clear open violations and other building issues.
Samaritan Village also plans to convert the shelter into a Tier 2 facility, or an apartment-style shelter legally required to house families, officials said. They would have to present a construction plan for kitchens and an outdoor playground by June 30, 2016, in order to receive all of the contract money.
The provider originally applied for a $42.7 million permanent contract that would run longer than 2017, according to the comptroller’s office. The three previous applications had been denied.
"The Department of Homeless Services has provided the Comptroller's Office with the required documentation that health and safety violations have been cured, or that there are plans in place to address those violations at the family shelter," Eric Sumberg, spokesman for Stringer, told DNAinfo.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeless Services thanked the comptroller for working with the agency and for Samaritan Village "for upgrading services for our clients."
"We are pleased to be able to continue to offer our clients the services they need and deserve," she said in a statement.