Tag: clears

Judge clears way for homeless to be moved from Lucerne Hotel

The city can move homeless residents of the Upper West Side’s Lucerne Hotel to another location in the Financial District, a judge ruled Wednesday as she tossed a suit to block the controversial relocation, new court papers show.

After blowback from Upper West Side residents, the city sought to transfer the roughly 200 homeless men from the Lucerne to a downtown Radisson Inn — but instead met resistance there from a group of FiDi residents calling themselves Downtown New Yorkers Inc who sued the city last month to block the relocation.

Three homeless men living at the Lucerne who opposed their forced move intervened in the case and successfully put the relocation on pause while the case played out in court.

But after lengthy hearings last week, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Debra James found, in her decision from Wednesday, that she doesn’t have jurisdiction to block the city’s plans to move the men.

James said the homeless men could fight their relocation after they are moved if the shelter is lacking through the appropriate channel of an administrative hearing. But that she didn’t find they would suffer irreparable harm if they are moved now.

James also found that Downtown New Yorkers don’t have legal standing to challenge the relocation.

A view of the downtown Radisson Inn that NYC plans to convert into a homeless shelter.
A view of the downtown Radisson Inn that NYC plans to convert into a homeless shelter.John Nacion/NurPhoto via ZUMA Press

“The relocation plan will enable each of the residents to move from a Lucerne hotel room with two beds and a roommate into a single bed hotel room at the Radisson,” James’ decision reads.

The judge said it will “enable the de-densification of residents who are currently doubled up at the Lucerne.”

A spokesman for the city Law Department said it is “pleased with the Court’s decision, which will allow the City to continue providing critical services to those who need it most in the way we believe is most effective.”

After Thanksgiving, the city will begin transitioning the men to the Radisson as part of its effort to phase out the Lucerne as a temporary COVID site, the spokesman said.

Randy Mastro lawyer for WestCo — a group of Upper West Side residents in support of the relocation who were barred from the case — said the decision is “a ‘win-win’ for all concerned, and now, [the move] should go forward without any further delay.”

Michael Hiller — who repped the three homeless men who opposed the move — told The Post, “Words cannot express how I feel about this decision greenlighting the city’s forcible relocation of the homeless residents of the Lucerne on the day before Thanksgiving.

“All I can say right now is that I disagree with the decision. As for the next steps, our clients are currently considering their options.”

Lawyers for Downtown New Yorkers did not immediately return a request for comment.

Additional reporting by Nolan Hicks

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