Court rules homeless men living at Upper West Side Lucerne Hotel can stay

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- More than 200 homeless men living at the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side can stay for several more months, per an appellate court ruling Tuesday afternoon.

A lawyer representing the men of the Lucerne said they will remain at the hotel for at least another five months.

He also hinted it could become a permanent facility.

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He said if the men want to leave, the city won't keep them there against their will.

"This is a HUGE win for the men of the Lucerne and for homeless residents throughout the City," attorney Michael Hiller said.

The judge has temporarily blocked the relocation of homeless men from the Lucerne, but also denied a motion to stop the Radisson hotel in Lower Manhattan, where they were headed, from being used as a shelter.

For now, the homeless men can stay at either location for the rest of the pandemic, pending further developments.

The NYC Law Department released the following statement:

"The City has a moral and legal obligation to provide safe shelter to all who need it. The Radisson is better suited to meet the needs of these residents. When all the merits are heard, we believe the court will ultimately agree that this move is an appropriate use of the mayor's emergency powers."

A lower court judge ruled in November that the city could move the men to the Radisson hotel, but that decision was stayed.

The city is accused of abusing emergency authority to create a new permanent shelter and misleading the community board.

Several men from the hotel have filed a motion and claim that the move would irreparably harm them and disrupt their mental health and substance abuse recovery programs if they are moved for the fourth time since March.

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