New contract bid for Elmhurst shelter that got 17 code violations in one day

DHS has submitted another proposal to turn the Pan Am homeless shelter into a permanent shelter.
THE COURIER/File photo

There’s yet another contract proposal for the homeless shelter operated at the former Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst.

After Comptroller Scott M. Stringer thrice rejected a proposal to convert the currently temporary shelter at 79-00 Queens Blvd. into a permanent homeless shelter, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) submitted its fourth proposal earlier this month.

The new proposal, a two-year, $23,870,000 contract, was submitted on Jan. 6, according to checkbooknyc.com, with vendor Samaritan Daytop Village Inc. listed as the services provider for the shelter.

Scott Stringer has repeatedly said the emergency homeless shelter must address outstanding violations before he can accept any proposal. He denied the contract last May, July and September.

Elmhurst residents and elected officials have held several rallies calling on Stringer to deny the proposals. The shelter has suffered from a vermin infestation, and the comptroller has cited health and safety concerns such as fire code violations and a lack of kitchen facilities in the units for rejecting the proposals.

Meanwhile, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) slapped the shelter on Tuesday, Jan. 26, with 17 open violations for defective and leaky bathtub faucets in several bathrooms, broken windows, broken bathtubs, broken or defective wall tiles in one bathroom and a defective toilet that does not flush.

State Senators Tony Avella, Jeff Klein, Toby Ann Stavisky and Joseph Addabbo, along with Congresswoman Grace Meng, have all applauded Stringer’s decision to deny the contract.

Grassroots organization Elmhurst United, which has called for the rejection of each proposal, has argued that making the shelter permanent would burden School District 24, the most overcrowded in the city and that issues such as lack of a child care facility at the site, numerous FDNY violations and a façade violation make it unsuitable for people to live there.