Currently, the group is awaiting response from the city to its Article 78 proceedings filed late last year. The proceedings call into question an Environmental Assessment Study performed on the shelter site that claims it is a safe place to house families.
Last month, DHS Assistant Commissioner of Capacity Planning Todd Hamilton gave testimony before the Supreme Court of New York County claiming that he believes the agency acted in good faith when it performed the EAS.
“DHS carefully considered each of these potential impacts in accordance with the technical manual and correctly determined that the project could not result in any significant adverse environmental impacts,” Hamilton testified.
He also pointed out the legal obligation to provide “transitional housing” options and social services to the city’s homeless population.
“Since DHS must, and does, shelter all eligible homeless families who require shelter, sufficient capacity must be available on an immediate basis for every person who seeks it,” he testified before the Supreme Court of New York County.
Coalition representative Dawn Scala said that following presentation of the city’s oral arguments, the GMVC has responded with a letter and will soon have their day in court.
“We submitted, and the city responded with their arguments. In response, we just filed [our written argument] last week. Now we’re waiting for our oral argument date to be set,” Scala said.
A representative of State Senator Joseph Addabbo’s office told the attendees at the last meeting of Community Board 5 at Christ the King High School that the senator is currently working to arrange a meeting with DHS to discuss the shelter.
“We are reaching out, trying to find a date to sit down with city hall and DHS to talk about the 'new direction' the Cooper Avenue site is going to take,” said the representative.
According to Scala, the date for GMVC’s oral arguments should be set in February.