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Homeless families have been living in Corona hotel for months: Elected officials

Another Holiday Inn Express motel in Queens, this one in Corona, is taking being used — without notice to the community — to house the homeless, according to three prominent lawmakers.
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Three lawmakers are warning Corona residents of a possible conversion of a Holiday Inn Express into a homeless shelter in their neighborhood.

U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and state Assemblyman Francisco (D-Jackson Heights) released a joint statement Wednesday after learning of the city maneuver.

“After reaching out to the Department of Homeless Services for several months, it has come to our attention that the Holiday Inn Express, located at 113-10 Horace Harding Expressway, has been housing homeless families for months,” they said. “The number of rooms being utilized for the purpose of housing the homeless has routinely exceeded 30 to 40 percent of the building’s capacity, and neither elected officials nor the community were notified. Although the community is extremely sympathetic to the homeless crisis, and we know that many are just a paycheck away from becoming homeless themselves, it is our hope that this hotel is not converted into a permanent homeless shelter.”

A receptionist at the Holiday Inn Express in Corona said she “cannot disclose any information about the hotel” and the manager was not available.

“The Department of Homeless Services is renting some rooms at this location to help meet its legal obligation to provide shelter to homeless New Yorkers who would otherwise be sleeping on the street,” DHS spokeswoman Lauren Gray said. “There are currently no plans to convert this location into a homeless shelter, but New York City’s legal obligation to provide shelter to a rising number of homeless New Yorkers has created a need to open additional shelters and rent hotel rooms.”

The lawmakers aren’t buying it.

Last month a record 59,373 were in shelters and another 4,000 homeless slept in 46 motels, up from 1,000 in eight hotels in January 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“News that a permanent conversion may be taking place is especially troubling following the city’s failed attempt to convert the Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth into a shelter this month,” Crowley, Peralta and Moya continued. “With five permanent homeless shelters already operating in this region of Queens, our communities have contributed more than their fair share to alleviate the homelessness crisis that we are facing in New York City.”

The future of the Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth is muddled. Last week the owner, Harshad Patel, called Juniper Park Civic Association President Bob Holden saying he no longer wanted to go against the wishes of the community and he was pulling out of a deal with the city. The city issued no official statement, but a source said negotiations were still happening.

Patel has not returned repeated calls for comment.

Meanwhile, the trio of lawmakers vowed to confront the de Blasio administration in Corona.

“We will fiercely fight any attempt by the city to convert yet another local facility into a shelter,” they said. “A successful effort to address the pervasive issue of homelessness starts with an open dialogue between DHS, elected officials, and community residents, not by forcing a neighborhood to take on additional burdens without first gathering meaningful input from those who are to be affected.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

Posted 12:00 am, September 15, 2016
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Reader feedback

Sal from Queens says:
It's always amusing to see the progressive liberal left show their despise for the homeless and poor while the righteous right criminalize homelessness and poverty. Those folks themselves are just one paycheck away from the food line yourselves.
Sept. 15, 2016, 4:46 am
Not new from Queens says:
And this is news?
Sept. 15, 2016, 6:23 am
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
MYTH: Everybody is one paycheck away from homelessness or the foodline.

PLEASE keep it REAL.
Sept. 15, 2016, 7:18 am
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
And the progressive left like deBlasio warehouses homeless in deplorable conditions like hotel rooms, so who is the real enemy of the homeless. AND why can't homeless in shelters learn to act civilized in communities as opposed to acting up with nonsense, which is why civilized hard-working people do not want shelters in the communities. I see how these fools actin Jamaica.
Sept. 15, 2016, 7:21 am
because they are on drugs or crazy from Queens says:
most homeless are mentally ill and/or on drugs - stop pretending they are good people just down on their luck
Sept. 15, 2016, 1:04 pm
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Yep, homeless people are not just down on their luck. Most have made one misstep after another after another. Not a damn thing to do with "just down on their luck".

POOR CHOICES were made.
Sept. 15, 2016, 1:39 pm
Stephanie from Park Slope says:
So those with mental illnesses are "bad people?" Would you say that about someone with any other kind of Illness? My god some of you are sick, despicable people. Down on their luck or can't afford $3000.00 for an apartment in NYC? The stupidity I read on some of these comment sections about the homeless is unreal...
Sept. 15, 2016, 4:50 pm
Miche says:
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Sept. 16, 2016, 3:36 am
Paulette from Astoria says:
Some of these comments are shameful. All homeless people are not drug addicts, or mentally ill, sometime bad things happen to good people, this fascio did not start with Mayor DeBlasio, it started with the Bloomberg administration, and DeBlasio inherited it, many homeless people work just like anyone else, and have families just like most of us, can't get an apartment because the rent is outrageous, your paying more than 30% of your salary for rent, and I do understand how many people are feeling, but attacking, and demonizing homeless people are not the answer. What about over 800 vacant apt in the New York Housing Authority that was kept secret in the Bloomberg administration, Scott StringerNew York CityComptroller released a report about this, why aren't these apartments rented to those on the waiting list, and the homeless. Comptroller.nyc.com, and read the report.
Sept. 16, 2016, 1:33 pm
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Have any of you "for the homeless" ever had a homeless shelter in your community or several of them. Have you ever seen how many of them act int he community and how many times police, etc have to come out to these shelters due to the horrible behavior of many of them.

ENOUGH SAID.

You want them, put them up in your home or apartment then.

Also if you cannot afford this expensive city, then move like many do, to other cities/states that are more affordable, especially if you are living in a shelter and not working. Just plain common sense.
Sept. 16, 2016, 3:09 pm

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