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West Side Rag » Court Says Homeless Men Can Stay at The Lucerne

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Posted on January 5, 2021 at 3:35 pm by West Sider


A rally outside The Lucerne last year.

The homeless men living at The Lucerne Hotel on West 79th Street have the right to stay there while judges consider their case in more detail, a state appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

The ruling means that men will likely be able to stay at the hotel for months, defying a city order to move them to a Radisson hotel downtown. Mayor de Blasio — under pressure from some Upper West Siders — had announced in October that the conditions around the Lucerne were “unacceptable,” and that they should be moved elsewhere. But the city’s attempts to move the men have been stymied and delayed by various court decisions.

Based on Tuesday’s ruling, the men can decide to relocate to The Radisson or stay at The Lucerne.

Attorney Michael Hiller, who represents men at The Lucerne called the ruling “a huge victory, not only for the men of the Lucerne, but also for homeless residents throughout the City.”

The ruling means that “not only can the men of the Lucerne remain there, at least pending the appeal, but further, those who want to leave may also do so,” he said. “In this way, today’s decision, though temporary, is truly empowering to homeless residents who are fighting for their right to be heard and ultimately, for their dignity.”

The West Side Community Organization, which has pushed for the men to leave, wrote in a statement that the ruling gives the men a choice — and that leaving is better for their own well-being. The group warned that the men who choose to stay “will continue to be in limbo with no certainty as to their permanent residency plan and displaced from vital on-site recovery and medical services,” while those who leave will be closer to their service providers.

UWS Open Hearts, a group that has supported the men, also released a statement that urged the mayor to change his decision.

“We hope the Mayor will at long last do the right thing, stop spending our tax dollars to fight homeless men in court, and focus on using the Radisson Hotel — which has been sitting practically empty — to safely house people sleeping on the streets or still in congregate shelters,” the statement says.

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