Coalition to file second lawsuit against Cooper Avenue shelter
by Benjamin Fang
Nov 26, 2019 | 6827 views | 0 0 comments | 295 295 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Earlier this month, the Glendale-Middle Village Coalition filed an Article 78 proceeding against the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to halt the agency’s plan to open a 200-bed homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Avenue early next year.

While the lawsuit has been filed, it has yet to be assigned to a judge, according to Glendale civic leader Kathy Masi.

In the meantime, the coalition is preparing to file a second lawsuit, this time focused on the relationship between DHS and the Department of Buildings (DOB).

“We hired a second lawyer,” Masi said, “to explore another avenue of the city’s egregious behavior when it comes to homeless shelters.”

The lawsuit, Masi said, will accuse DOB of letting numerous safety issues and other standards “slide” at the former factory site on Cooper Avenue. The civic leader has long said that the site is not in compliance with the city’s multiple dwelling laws.

She said this DOB proceeding will go through the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) first, though she expects BSA to rule in favor of the city. The coalition would then follow up with another Article 78, or even a civil lawsuit.

“The corruption is so deep that it’s frightening,” she said.

Masi also questioned DHS spending $61.8 million on the project, which she said could be used to house the 200 homeless men in apartments instead.

According to Masi, the draft contract only calls for 88 beds, which is because “legally, they can’t put more.”

“Just another layer of dishonesty and non-transparency,” she said. “They keep hiding behind the fact that it’s a homeless shelter.”
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