Edited by: TJV News.com
The problems involved in housing homeless people on the Upper West Side of Manhattan has finally reached a crescendo. Due to safety concerns over city run shelters for the homeless in the wake of the coronavirus back in March of this year, over 200 homeless were moved to single room occupancy rooms at the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side during the summer.
Local residents had continually voiced their objections over having these homeless in their area as they pointed to the substantial decline in the quality of life of the Upper West Side since these men arrived. Upper West Side residents claimed they witnessed open air drug sales, fights and public lewdness because of the men.
On Wednesday morning, Judge Debra James announced the decision two days after she said the decision would be ready, according to published reports.
The men will be moved to the Radisson Hotel on William Street in the Financial District of Manhattan.
The Patch.com of the Upper West Side reported that James dropped a restraining order that halted an earlier plan to move the residents out of The Lucerne, and also denied a petition by a group of Financial District residents to stop the 200-plus men from getting moved to the Radisson Hotel, according to court documents. The Lower Manhattan hotel is being turned into a permanent homeless shelter.
A source told NY1 the group that tried to prevent the move, Downtown New Yorkers, will file an immediate appeal of Wednesday’s decision.
“We are very disappointed that Judge James has given City Hall the green light to uproot the men staying at the Lucerne,” Upper West Side Council Member Helen Rosenthal said in a statement to Patch. “We desperately need a thoughtful perspective on our homelessness crisis, not the Mayor’s reactive and, sadly, destructive approach.”
NY 1 reported that for weeks, attorneys have been fighting in state court over whether the men from the Lucerne Hotel should be moved downtown. The de Blasio administration announced the men would be moved in September.
Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams have been some of the most active voices in the push to keep the residents on the Upper West Side, according to the Patch.com.
NY1 reported that Judge James dismissed the case outright, stating the Lower Manhattan residents lacked “standing to challenge the relocation of residents from the Lucerne Hotel to the Radisson Hotel.” She also said the men from the Lucerne did not have a case.
Her decision stated: “… The intervening residents have no right to choose their own temporary placements. Thus, such parties have no grievance that is ripe for review, having suffered no harm cognizable under the law, and this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and the intervening parties’ premature pleadings must be dismissed.”
“Their petition to restrain respondents City of New York, Bill de Blasio, in his official capacity as Mayor of the City of New York, the New York City Department of Homeless Services, and Steven Banks, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Homeless Services, from relocating such petitioners and other persons currently residing at the Lucerne Hotel is denied on the grounds that this court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of such petition, and the temporary restraining order issued on Oct. 19, 2020 is hereby vacated,” read the court ruling.
“We are hurt. This decision negatively affects homeless people throughout America and that’s really what this fight was about: having our voices heard, challenging an irrational decision made by the Mayor to please some rich folk,” said “Da Homeless Hero,” a resident at The Lucerne and a leading advocate in the fight to stay on the Upper West Side told the Patch.com