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FYI: In a yearlong audit of Department of Homeless Services emergency shelter hotels and contracting policies, the comptroller’s office visited 56 scatter-site apartments and found 30–all operated by Gin Realty, of 2394 Nostrand Avenue in the Bronx–were unsafe and unsanitary. The only agency in the country required by court order to provide same-day shelter, DHS has come under fire over the years for paying up to $3,870 a month in vouchers and handshake deals for often roach-infested rooms that offer little more to homeless clients then a naked light bulb. In a City Hall press conference this morning, Mayor Bloomberg, flanked by Comptroller William Thompson and DHS Commissioner Linda Gibbs, pledged that each office will work together to establish more stringent contract rules for homeless hotel and shelter operators. Thompson has recommended penalties for shelter operators who do not maintain building codes. (G. Gray) [10/2/03]

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