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Instead Of Faulting Flawed Program, De Blasio Slams Mayors Suing NYC For Dumping Homeless In New Jersey – CBS New York

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor de Blasio delivered a stunning attack on the New Jersey mayors suing to stop New York City from dumping homeless families in decrepit apartments across the river.

The fiery comments come even as his own Department of Investigation issues a blistering report about how the city treated the forgotten families CBS2 has been reporting on for nearly a year.

Blinders were apparently firmly in place for city officials – ignoring things like a mice infested, mold covered home with no heat in Newark where the city parked Brooklyn resident Julie Rodriguez and her young family last winter.

Mayor de Blasio offered the “bah humbug” defense to a suit filed by Newark and being considered by Elizabeth and other locales to stop New York City from dumping its homeless families – CBS2’s Forgotten Families – in uninhabitable buildings.

“This season of the year especially I find this extraordinary that they decide to sue the city of New York to stop working poor from getting housing in the middle of the holiday season,” de Blasio said.

This comes as de Blasio’s own Department of Investigation issued a scathing report on the mayor’s Special One Time Assistance program, SOTA.

MORE: Forgotten Families: Department Of Investigation Finds ‘Multiple Flaws’ With SOTA Program

The report found numerous deficiencies including:

  • City inspectors not properly trained to detect health and safety hazards.
  • Inspectors who claimed they actually inspected units when they didn’t.

WEB EXTRA: READ THE DOI’S FULL REPORT

“Sometimes leading to DHS clients’ placement in units without valid occupancy certifications, without heat, and with insect and vermin infestations,” the DOI report stated.

De Blasio declined to attack his Department of Homeless Services, which ran the program. Instead he saved his venom for the Newark and Elizabeth mayors who took him to court over New York’s flawed program.

De Blasio accused them of ignoring “American values” and attacking poor people.

“It was really a derogatory lawsuit a statement against working poor people… It’s entirely disrespectful to these people who are just trying to make ends meet,” de Blasio claimed.

In light of the suit and the DOI report, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer asked the mayor “if you should discontinue the SOTA program?”

De Blasio simply answered “no.”

“Because we’re helping working poor people have a place to live and we’re gonna keep doing that and we’re gonna address the issues in the lawsuit,” the mayor added.

WATCH: Can New York City’s SOTA Program For Homeless Families Be Fixed?

A spokesperson for Elizabeth mayor Chris Bollwage had much to say about de Blasio’s “bah humbug” defense.

“If New Jersey is ‘not charitable during the holiday season’ please remind New York City that charity begins at home – New York City has forgotten that message,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesman for Newark mayor Ras Baraka said he would have no comment.

The mayor of East Orange slammed New York City for having no process in place to track the success of the SOTA program.

He said they send people to East Orange and then wash their hands of the situation, adding unless the city’s “negligence” stops “New York City will have single-handedly spread their homeless issue all across America.”



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