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Poll Says Most New Yorkers Like Mayor's Shelter Plan as Neighbors Sue

 Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan in February to build 90 new homeless shelters citywide.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan in February to build 90 new homeless shelters citywide.
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Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office

BROOKLYN — Despite loud criticism from locals near new homeless shelters, nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers overall like Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to create 90 new Department of Homeless Services facilities, a new poll found.

Sixty-one percent of those polled in the NY1/Baruch College City Poll said they think the mayor’s plan is a “good idea,” the station reported.

That’s more than double the percentage who reject the shelter plan: Only 29 percent of respondents said the DHS overhaul — in which the city plans to build 90 new homeless shelters citywide — is a bad idea, the poll found.

The results come as lawsuits have blocked the openings of two new homeless shelters, both in Crown Heights, where residents have loudly opposed more homeless housing.

The opening of the first shelter, a 104-bed facility for men over the age of 62 on Bergen Street, has been halted by a judge for nearly two months by a lawsuit filed by neighbors of the facility. However, an order resolving the suit is expected from a judge this week, the plaintiffs told DNAinfo New York on Monday.

A second shelter in the neighborhood last week was hit with a temporary restraining order in a lawsuit filed by Crown Heights residents one day after the first 10 families moved into the building at 267 Rogers Ave. The shelter is barred from accepting more families at least until a June 2 court date, a judge ruled last week.

As those legal battles continue, both de Blasio and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams visited Crown Heights churches over the weekend to address the topic. The mayor spoke at Berean Baptist Church on Sunday, six blocks from the Bergen Street shelter, addressing initiatives on mental health and affordable housing for seniors.

At the same time, Adams — who was formerly critical of de Blasio's homeless plan — spoke at First Baptist Church on Eastern Parkway, asking Brooklynites to support the homeless in the borough and touting his plan to address the issue, including the hiring of a local shelter liaison.

Only five locations of the 90 planned homeless shelters have been announced by the city so far in the DHS overhaul, which aims to close all cluster and hotel shelter sites and reduce the overall shelter population by 2,500 people in five years. Three of the shelters have already opened: one housing women with mental health issues in Prospect Heights and two in the Belmont section of The Bronx housing families and LGBT youth.

The mayor's plan aims to reduce by 2,500 the current homeless population of more then 60,000 people.