In a statement, the councilman noted that Comptroller Scott Stringer sent the contract for the shelter back to the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) at the end of a 30-day review after not receiving sufficient answers.
Holden brought up several unresolved zoning and safety concerns with the property in a February letter addressed to Stringer.
“The living situation inside 78-16 is not at all conducive with the guidelines being set forth by health professionals to stop the spread of coronavirus,” Holden said. “Coupled with the comptroller electing not to register the contract, it is imperative that this facility be discontinued in order to protect the health and well-being of all persons inside.”
Instead, the Glendale pol is recommending that the current residents of the site be moved into individual hotel rooms, which he notes would help boost the hotel industry, which has been affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
He said the Cooper Avenue facility could be used as a triage center for COVID-19 patients.
“This public health crisis seems likely to continue for many weeks, and our city needs to be considering all options when it comes to adding hospital beds to our current capacity,” Holden said. “Closing this facility could simultaneously protect the health of the residents and staff, help future coronavirus patients as our health system is pushed to the limit, and boost the hotel industry at a time of financial instability.”