The city’s homelessness crisis continues to force the city to shelter people in converted private facilities.
City Hall will take over the Verve Hotel at 40-03 29th Street in Long Island City by next week, and use it to house 200 homeless women. The facility will also provide mental health treatment and offer help to residents in managing their money.
Harshad Patel’s Laxmi Management developed the hotel in 2007. The Real Deal reported last November that the property was in contract for $20 million to an unknown buyer, but public records still list the owner as Laxmi Management LLC.
It’s unknown how the owners will be compensated.
Officials said the move was spurred by a spike in the number of homeless women living in the city’s shelters.
It’s not the first time the city has taken such a step. The Pan Am Hotel in Elmhurst was converted into a home for homeless families last year, and, in February, the Department of Homeless Services temporarily rented rooms at a hotel in Jamaica, the LIC Post reported.
Locals expressed wariness towards the new shelter.
“We want people to have a place to stay — its very important to have a place to stay,” said Florence Koulouris, district manager for Community Board 1. “But is this really the right location? It’s a question that hasn’t been answered.”
The city has also recently moved to enlist private developers to build part-affordable, part-market-rate housing on publicly owned sites in what it calls the “NextGen Neighborhoods” program. [LIC Post] — Ariel Stulberg