CB5 chair Vincent Arcuri explained that the board still stands in opposition, however they have not established any new findings associated with the site at 78-16 Cooper Avenue.
“Officially we are nowhere,” Arcuri said. “No one knows where it is in the system, we hear rumors and we hear stories. You talk to a different elected official and you get a different answer.”
Arcuri read from the committee’s letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to reiterate their opposition to the shelter, shadowing a letter written last month by numerous elected officials.
“Community Board 5 in Queens is against warehousing unfortunate families in such inhumane facilities,” Arcuri read. “ We urge the disapproval to this proposal.”
DHS announced its approval of the roughly $27 million plan to convert an abandoned 51,000-square-foot industrial facility on Cooper Avenue citing a fair share basis, claiming the district is obligated to support more homeless and transitional facilities.
A spokesperson with Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi’s office reported that developments with the shelter are still in the early approval phases, and have yet to enter into the environmental impact phase, the second of a three-phase process in order to create a homeless shelter in the city.
"It is my hope that the community board's involvement in this discussion will help effectively convey to the Department of Homeless Services residents' concerns with the current proposal so that an alternative solution might be realized," Hevesi said.