By Bill Parry
The city is refuting Monday’s claim made by three lawmakers that an East Elmhurst hotel has been earmarked by the Department of Homeless Services to be partially converted into a shelter for the homeless.
Calling it a “troubling development,” U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and Assemblyman Francisco Moya identified the Courtyard by Marriott, located at 90-10 Ditmars Blvd. across the Grand Central Parkway from LaGuardia Airport, as having been “potentially slated” to house a population of up to 60 homeless single men.
“There are currently no plans to convert this hotel into a shelter or to temporarily rent rooms to help meet our legal and moral obligation to shelter homeless New Yorkers,” DHS spokeswoman Lauren Gray said. “We do have an open-ended RFP and are always looking to review strong proposals, but the Department of Homeless Services has not received a proposal for this location.”
Crowley, Peralta and Moya said that while their communities remain sympathetic to the ongoing issue of homelessness in New York, their neighborhoods already carry a fair share of the problem by hosting no less than five shelters.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr