MASPETH — The city will open up a shelter to serve the homeless in and around Maspeth — with or without community cooperation, the mayor said Friday.
Despite massive public outcry shut down the city's earlier plan to open a homeless shelter inside a Maspeth hotel last fall, the city is still scoping out space for a homeless shelter that can serve the 250 homeless people throughout Community Board 5 — which includes Middle Village, Ridgewood, Glendale and Maspeth, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a town hall Thursday.
"There was a big controversy over in Maspeth, Queens, that’s a community board that has 250 people in the shelter system now," de Blasio said at Thursday's town hall in Bedford-Stuyvesant. "We’re going to put enough capacity in that community board for 250 people."
The mayor doubled down on his vow to open the shelter — with or without local cooperation — on his weekly radio show on WNYC Friday.
"We are going to go back in to that community board, find the best possible location, and create a new shelter," he said. "We are happy to work with elected officials and community leaders to determine the best location if people want to work productively with us. Either way, that community board needs to have shelter capacity."
Maspeth residents came out strongly against a city plan to open a homeless shelter at a Maspeth Holiday Inn last summer — launching a string of protests including one outside Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steve Banks' home in Windsor Terrace.
The hotel owner ended up pulling out of the plan under pressure from the community, and the city instead rented a few dozen rooms from the hotel instead of taking over the whole building.
The mayor unveiled an ambitious plan earlier this month to build 90 more shelters across the city to address the more than 60,000 people currently in the system.