BRONX, NEW YORK — Following the death of two young children at an overflow homeless shelter, the city conducted an evaluation of its Department of Homeless Services and found there are 3,200 “cluster sites” housing more than 11,000 homeless men, women and children.
There are about 100 landlords that own cluster sites, and their buildings and apartments are used when the city’s homeless shelters fill up. Scott Stringer, the city controller that conducted the investigation, reported that New York’s homeless shelter population has reached a record level of 60,000 people.
The investigation also found that more than half of the 16,026 open code violations at New York City’s cluster sites are in buildings owned by 11 cluster landlords, according to David Neustadt, spokesman for New York Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. The list includes Moshe Piller, owner of the Hunts Point Avenue building in the Bronx where the two girls, age 1 and 2, were burned to death when a faulty radiator spewed steam into their bedroom.
There are 1,119 high-priority health, fire, building and code violations at cluster sites as of September 2016.
In January, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the cluster sites would be phased out within three years.