Judge pauses transfer of disabled homeless New Yorkers from hotels to shelters

MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- A federal judge has ruled to temporarily stop the transfer of disabled homeless New Yorkers from hotels to shelters.

The ruling was issued Tuesday by New York's Southern District Court.

It temporarily pauses the transfer of homeless disabled New Yorkers from hotel rooms back to crowded local homeless shelters.

"Today's decision affirms that the city rushed the moves of homeless New Yorkers from safe placements in hotels back to crowded shelters without meeting its obligations, endangering the lives of New York's most vulnerable residents," the Legal Aid Society said in a joint statement.
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Some got on a bus in the morning, but others have locked themselves in their rooms and say they are not moving back to the congregate shelters.

Despite the ruling, the New York City Department Of Homeless Services says they will make minor adjustments to their plan and proceed next week.

"We will make the minor adjustments to our process as directed, we plan to move forward next week, and we remain committed to meeting our clients' unique needs and granting accommodations as requested, as we have in hundreds of cases already," the DHS said.

The decision to move homeless residents from city hotels, that were used as a temporary shelter during the pandemic, back to formal shelters has created ongoing backlash and division.

Days after the city evicted homeless residents from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side, some homeless residents refused to move from the Four Points by Sheraton Midtown on 40th Street.

Protests even got the attention of the recently conceded mayoral candidate Maya Wiley, who said the city needs to do better.

RELATED | Woman smashes car into hotel-turned-homeless-shelter in Bronx, police say
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Candace McCowan reports on the crash from the Mott Haven section.

"With all these options for permanent housing, moving homeless people from hotels to dangerous congregate shelters doesn't make any sense and is cruelty that needs to stop now," said Helen Strom, Supervisor of the Benefits and Homeless Advocacy Unit at the Safety Net Project at the Urban Justice Center.

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