Homeless advocates: Deplorable shelter shows lack of Nassau oversight

Hempstead Village officials say a homeless shelter paid for in part by public funds is not properly licensed.

News 12 Staff

Dec 21, 2018, 5:57 PM

Updated 1,976 days ago

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Hempstead Village officials say a homeless shelter paid for in part by public funds is not properly licensed.
Homeless advocate Benjamin Britton says the distribution of Nassau County housing assistance funds to the home on Cornwall Lane in Hempstead shows a shocking lack of supervision.
According to village officials, the house is nothing more than a single-family residence. But documents show it has been operating as an unlicensed homeless shelter for years. In fact, the owner has been cited four times by the village for allegedly operating an illegal boarding house.
Nassau distributed more than $30 million in housing assistance in 2017. Some of that cash flowed directly to the owner of the Cornwall Lane house, where residents recently complained about substandard living conditions.
News 12 reached out to Nassau's Social Services commissioner for comment. He said the county issues housing assistance checks when a client proves financial eligibility and provides a letter from a landlord. And when it comes to checking up on those landlords, the commissioner writes: "The department does not conduct housing inspections. Rather, every landlord is responsible and required to ensure that his/her house meets village, town or city housing code standards."
The Village of Hempstead is currently battling the owner of Cornwall Lane house in court. If the home is condemned, Social Services says residents will immediately be placed elsewhere.
 


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