Addabbo and Pheffer Amato bill would have City release an impact study before siting a homeless shelter

As more and more homeless shelters are popping up in communities across the city, State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. and Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato have introduce a bill that would require the city to release a neighborhood impact statement prior to creating a homeless shelter in a community.

Several communities within Addabbo’s district, most recently in Rockaway, have been selected for homeless shelters with little to no community outreach — with the public or local elected officials — or consideration to other factors such as infrastructure and public transportation in the area or community concerns.

“In order to deal with the city’s homelessness crisis, the mayor has decided to do away with cluster apartments create large-scale homeless shelters in local communities,” Addabbo said. “While each community wants to do their part to help with the crisis, there needs to be a practice where the community is involved in the early stages of the selection process and the concerns of residents can be address before a site is finalized.”

Bill S.3997 would require the city to conduct and release a neighborhood impact study for the area where a homeless shelter would be created. This study would document the number and locations of daycare centers, schools, parks, playgrounds, senior centers, infrastructure and other information that the City Council deems relevant.

Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato introduced a similar bill in the State Assembly.

“I am proud to sponsor this bill and to have my colleague Stacey Pheffer Amato introduce it into the Assembly as well,” Addabbo added. “Together we must work to make sure communities are not left out of the process.”

“The Mayor’s proposal to address homelessness is misguided and irresponsible — placing vulnerable individuals in an area with no resources to support them, without inclusion of community stakeholders, is a failed plan for everyone,” Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato said. “I thank Senator Addabbo for introducing this vital piece of legislation, and I am proud to introduce this bill in the Assembly. The city must include us in the conversation — and this bill seeks to do just that.”

Addabbo also noted that in order to tackle the complex issue of homelessness, the government must put forth policies that address the long-term issues that sometimes lead to homelessness such as affordable housing, creating jobs, mental health treatment along with alcohol and substance abuse rehabilitation.