Thursday, December 16, 2010

Officials and Community Groups Commend Borough President Diaz's Actions on Homeless Shelter Plan

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will be appearing on NY1’s “Inside City Hall” this evening.  The show airs at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Cablevision  channel 1.

   Today, on the steps of City Hall State Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, City Council Member G. Oliver Koppell and a wide variety of community organizations and civic leaders joined together to commend and support Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on his decision to default on the vote of the Muller Army Reserve Center (MARC) LRA. 

     The LRA, which is made up of Borough President Diaz as well as two deputy mayors to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, had put forth a proposal to use the MARC to house a 200-unit homeless shelter for single men, despite widespread opposition to the plan and a glut of new and existing homeless shelters in Community Board #12, a number of which are planned for the area immediately adjacent to the MARC.

    Rather than a homeless shelter, Bronxites have for years asked that the National Guard units that currently occupy space outside of the Kingsbridge Armory be moved to the MARC, freeing up their current space for use as potential public schools. Since the MARC is already used by the military, transferring a different military unit would be an easy, inexpensive way to reuse the MARC. Instead, the Bloomberg administration has chosen to undergo a costly renovation of the MARC for use as a homeless shelter. 

    “We understand that we must help the least fortunate among us. With that said, Community Board #12 is already doing its fair share for the homeless. Adding another shelter to this community is wrong, especially when a viable alternative use for the MARC is on the table. It is shameful that this administration has ignored  the collective voice of the Bronx and pushed forward with this homeless shelter plan," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.


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