Officials announce closure of cluster site

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NEW YORK -

The mayor has ordered the closure of more cluster sites for the homeless across the city.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that the Department of Homeless Services has ended the use of more than 42 percent of cluster units citywide.

Officials gathered outside the former cluster site on Ogden Avenue, where two children died in December 2016 when a radiator malfunctioned.

The mayor has promised to replace cluster sites with 90 new homeless shelters and affordable housing units. 

The 18-year-old cluster site program has been used to place homeless people in private apartments rented by the city. Currently more than 100 cluster facilities house more than 1,000 families across the five boroughs.

Officials announce closure of cluster sites

The new initiative is part of Mayor de Blasio's "Turning the Tide" program to end homelessness. City officials say they already closed 1,500 units.

"This is a very important step to show that we have made progress on a commitment we made a year ago," said Steven Banks, commissioner of the Department of Social Services.

Cluster apartments are spread out and may not be in a family's home borough. City officials say new housing will provide stability for children to be relocated in their home communities.

Officials also say it will lead to better regulated housing for the homeless that will be safer and more stable.

The city plans to close all cluster sites and relocate all families by the end of 2021.

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