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'Cluster Site' Homeless Shelter Violations Go Up in July, Report Says

By Kathleen Culliton | August 12, 2016 6:29pm
 The Bellevue Men's Homeless Shelter in Kip's Bay. Officials said the city cut outstanding building code violations in its homeless shelters this year.
The Bellevue Men's Homeless Shelter in Kip's Bay. Officials said the city cut outstanding building code violations in its homeless shelters this year.
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DNAinfo/Mary Johnson

NEW YORK CITY — The city cut outstanding building code violations in its homeless shelters this year, but the number of violations in cluster sites — rental apartments in privately-owned shelters — rose for the third time in the past three months, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday.

The mayor’s office credited the boost in cluster site violations to “increased inspection and enforcement efforts” that are are part of the mayor’s plan to phase out cluster shelters, where the Department of Investigation found terrible conditions, such as dead rats, broken stairwells and bodily fluids.

Cluster sites had 14,022 open violations at the end of July as compared to 13,496 at the end of June and 12,147 at the end of May.  

There were 14,418 open violations in cluster shelters at the end of 2015.

There were 2,607 violations in non-cluster shelters at the end of July, down 75 percent from the 10,474 at the end of January.

The mayor said the tactics used on non-cluster shelters would soon be used to decrease cluster site violations.

“We are going to apply the same tough approach on the cluster shelters,” de Blasio said in a statement.

“We’re going to continue our inspections, keep up repairs and continue the move away from cluster sites.”

The city hopes to convert more than 3,000 cluster site units, which house 11,000 people in 260 buildings, to low-income housing within the next three years.