New York City is cutting ties to a nonprofit group that sheltered homeless people in hotels and cluster residences – including the building where two children died in December after a radiator burst and scalded them.
The city’s Department of Homeless Services announced Thursday phase out its use of the group, the Bushwick Economic Development Corporation, over the next few months.
“As part of the 90-day review of homeless services, we are aggressively reforming decades-old policies and practices, including ending relationships with providers who have had a history of serious shelter conditions or other issues,” Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks said in announcing the phase-out with BEDCO.
The city has rectified more than 10,000 building code violations at homeless shelters that had accumulated over many years, he said.
“Wherever possible, we are working to keep New Yorkers in their homes and out of shelter through a prevention-first strategy,” Banks said. “But for our homeless neighbors in shelter, we are making an unprecedented number of changes to dramatically improve shelter conditions and services.”
Two baby girls, ages 1 and 2, were killed in a radiator explosion last December while they napped in their apartment in a building managed by BEDCO on Hunts Point Avenue in the Bronx.
The building still has more than a dozen active complaints with the city Department of Buildings, records show.
BEDCO didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Last year, the city took steps to end the use of two nonprofit service providers with a history of noncompliance and serious shelter conditions issues, terminating contracts with We Always Care and transitioning the Housing Bridge portfolio to new providers, Banks noted.