When Housing Solutions USA/Aguila Inc. submitted its proposal to the Department of Homeless Services to open a homeless shelter at 165 W. 9th St., between Court Street and Hamilton Avenue, many Carroll Garden residents were not happy with the prospect of such an addition to the neighborhood.
Now those residents are taking action, and have drafted a petition asking elected officials for the right to have a say in whether or not the homeless shelter makes its way into Carroll Gardens.
"Community input and due process are part of the building blocks of our local democracies," the petition states.
"The redesignation of buildings without any community input in a neighborhood full of concerned residents, families and local businesses seems to negate their role in community development and is a top down power move that negates the vibrancy and importance of local residents," it continues.
The letter goes on to state the concerns "residents, neighbors, Business Owners, Parents and property owners" have with the "lack of due process and community input for this venture before its arrival."
Since the project is being authorized under an emergency contract rule, formal public input, input from local leaders' offices or the full City Council and voting on the matter is not required. Also, under this rule, only 30 days community notice is required.
"We are demanding a process whereby we can meet with elected officials and understand how these decisions that affect our neighborhood have been made and we have the opportunity to be heard and take a role in this process," the petition states.
So far, 420 signatures have been signed to the petition. The petition needs 80 more signatures before it is able to be sent to Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, Borough President Marty Markowitz, Commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services Seth Diamond, Deputy Mayor Iinda Gibbs and Councilman Brad Lander.