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Photo via Twitter/DHS
Photo via Twitter/DHS
Councilman Francisco Moya and DHS Commissioner Steven Banks announced that a Corona hotel would be phased out as a shelter site for the homeless by 2019.

Last September, Corona residents and elected officials were surprised to find out that a Holiday Inn Express was housing homeless families.

Politicians, including Congressman Joseph Crowley, state Senator Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Francisco Moya, slammed the city’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) for not informing the community and arguing that the agency forced the neighborhood “to take on additional burdens without first gathering meaningful input from those who are to be affected.”

But on Aug. 29, DHS Commissioner Steven Banks and Moya announced that the hotel at 113-10 Horace Harding Expwy., which is currently accommodating families in its 50 rooms, will be phased out as location housing homeless families by 2019.

Currently, 35 hotels are being used to house homeless people in Queens and more than 100 hotel rooms are being used for this purpose in City Council District 21, which encompasses Corona, East Elmhurst and parts of Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.

Photo via Google Maps

Photo via Google Maps

The city announced that it would phase out all 360 cluster sites and hotels by 2021 and would also create 90 new, traditional shelter facilities. DHS is also aiming to house people in their home borough to make it easier to get to school, work, houses of worship and doctors.

“New York City has a moral and legal obligation to provide shelter to those who’ve fallen on hard economic times, victims of domestic abuse and people with disabilities,” Moya said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the affordability gap for renters has widened and we’re seeing more individuals struggle to maintain stable housing. Although the city has used hotels as a temporary stop-gap solution, homeless New Yorkers deserve more suitable housing while they transition back into a home of their own.”

In total, there are 61 shelter facilities across Queens. According to a NY1 report, Queens is home to the most hotel shelters while the Bronx is home to the most cluster sites with 215 of 350 sites concentrated there.

DHS has used several hotels to house homeless people without notifying the community including the Pan Am Hotel in Elmhurst, the Quality Inn in Woodside and the Westway Motor Inn in East Elmhurst. In Maspeth, plans to convert a Holiday Inn into a men’s homeless shelter sparked several protests.

“As we work to turn the tide on homelessness, we are phasing out every single cluster site and commercial hotel facility across the five boroughs, including all remaining 35 commercial hotel facilities in Queens,” Banks said. “Ending use of this location by 2019 is an important step towards that goal.”

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jo September 06, 2017 / 01:05AM
In June 2014, Assemblyman Francisco Moya made a passionate and heartfelt commitment to oppose the City’s conversion of the Pan Am hotel into a massive shelter. In a community meeting, he stated that he would “chain himself to the gates” to get his message across. I would like to give you a few examples of how he kept this zealous commitment. By not returning or even taking multiple calls from his constituents, failing to meet with the community on issues with the shelter, not attending a single community rally, hiring staff who are experts in diverting residents concerns. Assemblyman Moya is worse than the politicians who chose to do nothing to help our community. Now he is dumping his Assembly seat and running for City Council in District 21. Today, he executed a blatantly disgraceful tactic to get votes from District 21. He took credit for phasing out the use of commercial hotels by DHS and the Mayor. But at what price? If elected to the City Council in District 21, payback will be in the form of being a “yes man” to the Mayor at the Community’s expense. Why did he not take the first initial step to phase out DHS’ use of hotels in his own State Assembly district? The Boulevard Motor Inn, the Crown Motor Inn, the Hotel Q are all within his jurisdiction and within a congested three block radius of each other. I would like nothing more than to see Francisco Moya vacate his seat in the State Assembly, but I feel that voters in District 21 should be advised. He will only make empty promises which sound great but will always only work for himself to further his political career. Beware of candidates bearing gifts.
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jo September 06, 2017 / 12:20AM
Moya did not lift a finger to help his constituents in Elmhurst when they protested against the Pan Am. ... He's not going to do anything once he's elected. He is just another waste of space candidate.
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