Last month New Yorkers in the Upper West Side were all up in arms about a hotel that was used as a temporary shelter to house 18 persons labeled as “sex offenders”. Neighbors of the Hotel Belleclaire, at 77th and Broadway, questioned why “so many” of these individuals had to be housed together. Now people living near a Holiday Inn Express in Queens are also whining that 15 registrants are being housed there by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
While there are hundreds of places spread across the city where these people could be housed (including more than 100 hotels that are being utilized by the city’s Department of Homeless Services during the COVID crisis to facilitate social distancing), barely any will or can legally accept people on the registry. New York’s Sexual Assault Reform Act, restricts registrants from living within 1,000 feet of a school. Good luck finding many options!
The inevitable result is that registrants are clustered into the few available options. Now those living close to those options are arguing that their neighborhoods are somehow made less safe because of this law. Somewhat ironic, isn’t it?