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City's Newest Shelter Barred from Taking More Families Until June: Judge

 A new homeless shelter planned at 267 Rogers Ave. in Crown Heights will temporarily house 132 families, the city has said.
A new homeless shelter planned at 267 Rogers Ave. in Crown Heights will temporarily house 132 families, the city has said.
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DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith

CROWN HEIGHTS — A Brooklyn judge Thursday extended an order that will temporarily prevent any more families from moving into a homeless shelter that opened in the neighborhood Monday.

Judge Katherine Levine said she needs more time to consider a lawsuit brought by neighbors of the 132-family homeless shelter at 267 Rogers Ave., which accepted its first 10 families Monday before the temporary restraining order was granted Tuesday.

At a heated hearing Thursday, Levine heard from attorneys from the Department of Homeless Services — who argued the city has an urgent need to house homeless families — and a representative of the plaintiffs, who said the city's planning of the shelter has been "very duplicitous."

Levine said she will consider the facts of the case further at another court hearing on June 2. In the meantime, no further families are allowed to move to the Rogers Avenue shelter.

DHS spokesman Isaac McGinn said shelter operator Samaritan Village is providing services to the 10 families living at 267 Rogers Ave., which would be the first standalone shelter for families in the community district. In a statement after Thursday's court hearing, he said the city is looking forward to a "swift resolution" in the case so that the city "can help 132 homeless families with children get back on their feet."

The lawsuit is the second brought by locals against new homeless shelters set to open in Crown Heights. The other, filed by neighbors of a 104-bed men’s shelter on Bergen Street, was close to a resolution as of Thursday, according to attorneys working on the case. That shelter has remained empty for nearly two months due to the court battle.

Both Crown Heights shelters are among the first homeless shelters to open under a plan by Mayor de Blasio to create 90 new shelters citywide while closing all cluster and hotel shelter sites and reducing the shelter population by 2,500 people. The city is grappling with a homelessness crisis, but many residents of Crown Heights say their neighborhood is being burdened with more than its fair share of the shelters.