Battle continues over proposed Riverdale homeless shelter
Members and elected officials of the Riverdale community are putting their foot down on a proposed homeless shelter, demanding they have a say in the contracting process of any new shelters in their area.
Local leaders and Bronx Community Board 8 sent a letter to Mayor Eric Adams this week asking to be involved in the contracting process. This comes as residents have continually fought back against the proposed shelter since it was first discussed in 2021.
The Department of Homeless Services previously told News 12 that the shelter will provide housing for 130 men.
Neighbors who spoke with News 12 say they’re worried about the safety of the residential neighborhood, with many voicing their unhappiness about the lack of transparency of who is in charge of the shelter.
Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz joins his son, Council member Eric Dinowitz, to lead the charge against the proposed shelter.
"It's in a residential community, it's right across from a park where kids play. There's no shopping nearby, transportation is difficult," said Assembly Member Dinowitz. "Why would they want to house so many people with difficult problems there? We want to address people's problems."
The owners of New Kings Wok Kitchen, who are located right by the proposed shelter's address, told News 12 that they are in a legal battle with their landlord after being told they have six months to vacate.
News 12 reached out to the Department of Homeless Services, which issued a response Thursday that reads, “We prioritize community engagement and transparency as part of our equitable shelter siting process and our agency ensures that we are doing our due diligence whenever we approve a shelter proposal to provide meaningful transitional housing services for vulnerable New Yorkers. This new high-quality shelter will be the first of its kind in this community, offering dedicated supports to individual New Yorkers experiencing homelessness as they stabilize their lives. In partnership with experienced not-for-profit provider-partner Westhab, we remain committed to working closely with the community to address any concerns as we collaboratively serve and support our neighbors in need.”