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(MELINDA KATZ, (748) 2863000 Deesinenr wre queensop O73 zs Info@queensbp org CITY OF NEW YORK [PRESIDENT OF THE BOROUGH OF QUEENS. 190-55 QUEENS BOULEVARD YEW GARDENS, NEW YORK 11406 September 9, 2016 Hon. Bill de Blasio Mayor City of New York City Hall New York, NY 10007 Re: Proposed Conversion of Holiday Inn Express on 59-40 55! Road, Maspeth into Shelter Site Dear Mayor de Blasio: 1am writing regarding the Department of Homeless Services proposal that would convert an existing Holiday Inn Express, located on 59-40 55" Road in Maspeth, into a 110-unit homeless shelter. I recognize the urgent need to address the growing issue of homelessness in our city. However, this proposal represents a dissonant use for the neighborhood in which itis located. Itshould be clear from the overwhelming community opposition at the town hall meeting and at the Community Board 5 hearing last week, coupled with the revelation in the press that the landlord is now concerned that this is the wrong location, that the siting should be withdrawn by the Administration. The proposed site is located within the boundaries of a low-density residential neighborhood, With the conversion of this hotel into a shelter, there will be a pronounced impact on a community that was not designed to support such a dense concentration of households. Additionally, these single hotel rooms are acutely confined spaces without basic necessary facilities like kitchens and dining spaces, creating an unstable environment for families who are already coping with a myriad of issues. ‘The City has sited many homeless shelters in the Borough of Queens. Many of those locations were placed under the emergency declaration when it was the City’s assertion that urgent circumstances negated the ability to have community input. But inthis case, there is no emergency declaration that promulgates the hastened conversion of this Holiday Inn Express into a shelter site. Yet, the community opposition and concern is still not being taken into consideration on a decision ‘that will invariably change their neighborhood. The practice of arbitrarily converting hotels into homeless shelters has become prevalent throughout the city. This is particularly true in Queens, where at least 17 hotels havealready been used as shelters. But this policy is not a sustainable approach to mitigating homelessness. We need to identify the best way to move forward as a city and consider alternatives to hotel shelter conversions, like increasing the financial commitment and expanding the parameters and incentives of existing rental subsidy programs, like LINC, that would better provide stable housing for homeless families. This is particularly true for the current housing market, which indicates that vacant units across the city number in the thousands. There also needs to be a meaningful approach which keeps people who are on the verge of eviction in their homes. The Holiday Inn Express is not an appropriate site. I request that the Department of Homeless Services rescind its plan to convert this site into a shelter. Sincer Melinda Katz President Borough of Queens Ce: Steven Banks, Human Resources Administration Emma Wolfe, Office of the Mayor Avi Fink, Office of the Mayor Honorable Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., NY State Senate, 15" SD. Honorable Margaret M. Markey, NY State Assembly, 30 AD Honorable Elizabeth Crowley, Council Member, 30" CD Vincent Arcuri, Chair, Community Board 5