We covered this news a few weeks back, and as promised, here is an update. An appeals court has decided to pause relocation of homeless men staying at the Upper West Side Lucerne Hotel that were slated to move to the Financial District (FiDi).
Downtown New Yorkers, Inc., made up of a group of FiDi residents and businesses, filed suit to block the forced relocation of some 200 homeless men residing at the Lucerne Hotel shelter to a Radisson hotel in their area. Back in October, three homeless men living at the Lucerne won a bid to stall their move. Then on Monday, November 30th, a judge gave the go ahead for the move to relocate. Those plans were halted on December 3rd with a new ruling.
Things are in a holding pattern until a five-judge panel has the chance to hear the case later this month. It’s hoped that the panel will eventually issue a ruling. First Department, Appellate Division Judge Anil Singh Thursday granted a bid by the Downtown New Yorkers, Inc.’s and the three homeless for the temporary pause. In the meantime, two of the men have since been placed in permanent housing. Michael Hiller, who represented the three homeless men in the case, said, “They will remain at the Lucerne until further notice.”
“We are extremely gratified that the court recognized the seriousness of this situation and the potential harm a move will cause to both the homeless men and the Lower Manhattan neighborhood,” said Theresa Vitug of Downtown New Yorkers. “To issue this stay, the court had to conclude that there is a likelihood that we will win the appeal on the merits.” A spokesman with the city Law Department said, “The City has a moral and legal obligation to provide safe shelter to all who need it.
More opinions are being reported on the matter. WestCo, a group of Upper West Siders supports the city’s plan to move the men to the FiDi, is appealing a ruling to intervene in the case. The group believes that the move to FiDi is in the best interests of the men at the Lucerne and feel confident that the original court ruling for the move will remain. Megan Martin with WestCo said in a statement, “It is unfortunate that the access to individual rooms and onsite services, resources that do not exist at the Lucerne, is yet again delayed. But we remain optimistic about the appeal, and we await a resolution that is best for this community and the unhoused men.”
We are sure to be back with more news on this topic. So, stay tuned!