A Temporary Pause on Lucerne Hotel Relocations

Mayor de Blasio has announced the city has placed a temporary pause on the relocation of homeless individuals from The Lucerne Hotel.

The mayor stated “We want to make sure that each person is treated with dignity. I don’t think a temporary hotel placement should be misunderstood as the ideal. I don’t think it is the ideal. It was never meant to be the ideal. We got to get people to the right kind of location for them, so this is why the whole system is being looked at right now.”

He also indicated the city’s next move would be determined quickly.

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Initial plans called for the relocation of all Lucerne Hotel residents by the end of September.

DHS Commissioner David Banks also made a statement which ABC7NY.com reported:  “As the Mayor said this morning, at this time, while Commissioner Banks and Corp Counsel Johnson are reviewing the situation, we are not moving any clients from these locations as part of this initiative (moves in the normal course, such as to permanent housing, for example, may proceed).”

These comments, and the pause, come after a protest was held at Gracie Mansion on Sunday.

Protesters marched to the east side to protest Mayor de Blasio’s initial decision to transfer the Lucerne Hotel residents to the Harmonia shelter in Midtown, resulting in the displacement of a number of families. The Legal Aid Society states that 80% of Harmonia residents are disabled.

homeless residents lucerne protest gracie mansion

Attorney Randy Mastro, who represents the West Side Community Organization (which lobbied to relocate the Lucerne Hotel residents), put out the following statement in response to the temporary pause:

“We understand and expect that the City will honor its commitment to move folks out of the Lucerne and into state-accredited shelters with proper services on-site by the end of this month. As the Mayor has explained, SRO hotels should only be temporary housing, and what’s happening on the Upper West Side is ‘not acceptable,’ so this move will be a win-win for this neighborhood and this vulnerable population.”

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