DHS aims to shut down cluster housing by 2021

Posted: Updated:
BROOKLYN -

The Department of Homeless Services says it plans to eliminate the controversial cluster housing system by 2021.

"We're opening a smaller number of high-quality, borough-based shelters," said DHS Commissioner Steven Banks. "People can remain close to their job, closer to children's schools, closer to health care."

Cluster housing places homeless people in privately owned apartments. The program has faced opposition for years. Criticism intensified after a radiator accident in a Hunts Point cluster last year killed two toddlers.

Brooklyn is home to the second-most cluster sites out of the five boroughs, behind the Bronx. About 11,000 of the city's homeless people live in cluster sites.

Lisa Milhouse, who left her Brooklyn home with her two children after escaping a violent relationship, says she was placed in a cluster site that she remembers as "one of the worst places on Earth."

A cabinet there broke loose from the wall and almost landed on her 4-year-old, she says.

  • Brooklyn SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Your 2018 Brooklyn Halloween Costumes

    Your 2018 Brooklyn Halloween Costumes

    Monday, October 22 2018 11:50 AM EDT2018-10-22 15:50:57 GMT

    Will you be spooky or scary? Or maybe playful or funny! Whatever your Halloween costumes are this year, News 12 wants to see them!

    Will you be spooky or scary? Or maybe playful or funny! Whatever your Halloween costumes are this year, News 12 wants to see them!

  • Your 2018 Brooklyn Fall Fun Photos

    Your 2018 Brooklyn Fall Fun Photos

    Wednesday, September 5 2018 1:52 PM EDT2018-09-05 17:52:33 GMT
    Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Brooklyn want to see your Fall Fun pics!Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Brooklyn want to see your Fall Fun pics!
    Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Brooklyn want to see your Fall Fun pics!Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Brooklyn want to see your Fall Fun pics!

    Is fall your favorite season? Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Brooklyn want to see your Fall Fun pics! Send them via Twitter or Instagram with the #BKFallFun and they might end up on air or on News12.com.

    Is fall your favorite season? Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Brooklyn want to see your Fall Fun pics! Send them via Twitter or Instagram with the #BKFallFun and they might end up on air or on News12.com.

  • Brooklyn Birthday Smiles

    Brooklyn Birthday Smiles

    It's a celebration! Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!It's a celebration! Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!

    It's a celebration! Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!

    It's a celebration! Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."