(DNAINFO) Jeff Mays | December 21, 2015 — The Department of Homeless Services is failing homeless families and children by placing them in roach and rat infested residences, according to an audit issued Monday.
Comptroller Scott Stringer found that 53 percent of inspected apartments in homeless shelters had rodent and roach infestation and 87 percent of units had serious safety violations such as mold, no smoke detectors and blocked fire escapes.
The “obscene” conditions are allowed to exist, Stringer said, because shelters are allowed to “self-monitor” their own conditions and DHS does not have enough staff to provide adequate oversight.
DHS also had only verbal contracts with 64 of 155 family shelter locations, the audit found. And the agency has failed to meet its own standards of helping people transition from shelter to permanent housing.