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MSCC HOMELESS/HOUSING MEETING RECAP FEBRUARY 6, 2024

MSCC, Sharon Jasprizza, Posted: February 29, 2024

SUMMARY: David Goldstein, Licensed Professional Engineer in New York, as well as a LEED AP and WELL AP, Hydronic Shell Technology, is installed quickly and cost-effectively from the exterior to minimize tenant disruption; the modular HVAC and facade system dramatically improves building performance as well as occupant health and well-being. Midori Yamamura, Assistant Professor of Art History, CUNY Kingsborough: The UnHomeless NYC exhibition that began at “Kingsborough Community College Art Museum in 2022 addresses the stigma of homelessness by presenting socially engaging artworks using research and data. Tamara Felix, Community Affairs Coordinator, Manhattan Outreach Consortium (MOC): The main reason for homelessness is the lack of housing and the types of housing needed. Much of the housing available is dormitory style. This is not applicable or preferable for most people.

CHAIR: John Mudd

POLICY MEETING UPDATES

There were no Policy meeting updates.

SPECIAL INTRODUCTION(S) AND OR UPDATES: 

Richard Vernon, Executive Director, Shower Power, richard@showepowernyc.org

  • Shower Power’s mission is focused on access to hygiene resources with dignity for all New Yorkers. We primarily do this by running shower trailers from around mid-March to early November, making/sourcing and distributing toiletry kits, and coordinating with partners. In the long term, we’d like not to be needed anymore. On the way to universal hygiene justice, we’re looking for 1) a trailer site in midtown and 2) facilities with unused/underused showers where we can be invited in to run a shower program year-round, ideally where there is space for community and community services – meals, clothing, primary health care, wound care, podiatry, legal services, mental health services

Michael Edhomeriegue, Program Coordinator, BronxWorks Homebase, medhomeriegue@bronxworks.org

Reach out to for more information at medhomeriegue@bronxworks.org

ACTIONS

  • Contact Michael Edhomeriegue, Program Coordinator, BronxWorks Homebase, if you know people interested in working at BronxWorks. medhomeriegue@bronxworks.org 

DEMOLITION ALTERNATIVES TO THE ELLIOT CHELSEA AND FULTON HOUSE 

Mo Malekshahi, Engineer and Project Manager

  • Public Housing and NYCHA buildings are old and deteriorating. Rebuilding is expensive, and the displacement of residents is costly and socially not viable and often leads to homelessness. We need to find ways to work with our infrastructure to zero displacement costs. How do we implement efficiency and comfort in low-income housing in all five boroughs? We can do this by working on the exterior where walls and windows result in energy inefficiencies
  • It’s important to update all the infrastructures in a building, such as the risers, the AC, plumbing, energy conservation, and more

David Goldstein, Licensed Professional Engineer in New York and a LEED AP and WELL AP, Hydronic Shell Technology, Mechanical engineer with 20 years of experience in NYC and 15 years designing HVAC systems in residential and commercial buildings in New York City and around the world five years ago. https://youtu.be/-nXQi5xZMYA?feature=shared

  • Presentation slides are available here
  • Became aware of the aging public housing buildings 
  • Founded Hydronic Shell Technologies to introduce a new category of HVAC systems to the multifamily new construction and retrofit markets, with a scalable approach that leverages technology, prefabrication, and modular assembly to deliver better buildings at lower cost
  • The air quality in NYC is an issue, particularly in old buildings
  • Old buildings spend a lot of money on repairs. For example, NYCHA spent $176,000 per apartment on a recent heat pump system. Nothing else was done to the building. In a new building, this would have cost around $25,000 per apartment. The costs are driven up in old buildings because of the displacement and disruption of tenants
  • The scaffolding required for repointing is expensive, and much of the expenditure does not improve people’s lives. Summers are hotter, and flooding is becoming more of an issue. We are not addressing these issues in old buildings. So how do we modernize these old buildings? Knocking them down is not an option. Retrofit solutions are not the answer. We have tens of thousands of old multi-family buildings in NYC. The amount of waste, carbon release, and people’s displacement are expensive and logically impossible. The work has to be done at an incredible scale
  • There is a solution
  • We need more endurable options for the facade. Prefabricated panels are installed on the exterior of buildings in Europe. Cambridge in Massachusetts, revitalized buildings using these panels. The cost is high because the technology is new, but it will be cheaper as economies of scale occur. This new technology does not displace residents and can be thought about wrapping the building and including cooling, ventilation, and more
  • Net-zero retrofits have been a rare occurrence up to this point, especially with occupants remaining in the building during construction. This is an entirely new challenge for our industry, and we need new solutions to make this possible. We need solutions that are modular, repeatable, and scalable. We need solutions that leverage the latest advances in design and construction technology to reduce costs and shorten construction schedules. We need solutions that are installed from the exterior of the building to minimize disruption to the occupants living and working inside. 
  • We need solutions that add value such that the installation cost becomes a compelling investment opportunity rather than a burden to be pushed onto others. No single solution can solve the retrofit challenge on its own. However, the Hydronic Shell offers a natural solution for millions of buildings of various shapes, sizes, and uses in cities around the world
  • Hydronic Shell Technology’sMission is “The world must move towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change”
  • Decarbonizing and Modernizing aging building stock is an unprecedented challenge for our industry and is especially urgent in underserved communities that have been neglected for decades.
  • Installed quickly and cost-effectively from the exterior to minimize tenant disruption, the modular HVAC and facade system dramatically improves building performance as well as occupant health and well-being
  • The Hydronic Shell is a high-performance central HVAC system integrated into modular facade panels that form a super-insulated shell around the building
  • The system is designed to make building decarbonization and modernization QUICK, AFFORDABLE, and NON-INVASIVE while improving the health and well-being of building occupants
  • It leverages the benefits of prefabrication and industrialized construction to reach the massive scale necessary to help fully decarbonize the built environment by 2050
  • Over 100 countries representing 80% of global emissions have already committed to net-zero emissions targets
  • The retrofits must provide other benefits beyond net-zero emissions, such as improving indoor air quality and thermal comfort and revitalizing the buildings’ appearance. This is especially true in underserved communities where the building stock has suffered from decades of neglect, creating living conditions that are unsustainable, unhealthy, and unjust.
  • One reason the construction industry is so challenging and needs to improve its productivity compared to other industries is that every building is unique. Climates, regulations, energy systems, cultures, and construction methods vary significantly worldwide
  • Buildings around the world account for roughly 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, meaning that to meet this net-zero target, tens of millions of existing structures must be retrofitted to net-zero in the next 25 years. This includes electrifying heating systems that currently rely on fossil fuels, so a 100% renewable electrical grid can instead power them
  • The old walls become an asset as they act as storage units for heat and cold as the residents transfer energy as needed. Consequently, energy reductions are large and lead to huge savings. For, a 100-unit apartment block has significant savings because The economics can be viewed by analyzing the following: a 25-year loan at 8% per year has loan repayments less than current building expenses
  • The health and social benefits for residents and owners of buildings are enormous. Currently, these two groups are in opposition to each other
  • Hydronic Shell Technology, Enterprise and Wells Fargo partnership have to come together to upgrade a Syracuse building starting in 2026

DISCUSSION

  • Luana Green, MSCC, Displacement leads to many social and personal issues. Much of the population does not have political clout and is taken advantage of during this land grab. NYCHA finds money for renovation for some buildings but not others
  • Susan Stetzer, CB3,  have you spoken with NYCHA about this technology
  • David Goldstein, Hydronic Shell Technology, said that once the Syracuse building proves successful, NYCHA is more likely to be interested. If there are connections to NYCHA in the committee, please pass on to David 
  • Renee Kinsella, Is this being done in Ravenswood?
  • David Goldstein, Hydronic Shell Technology, There was a proposal for similar, but when all the bids came in, the costs were too high. The approach needed is a design/build rather than waiting for a contract with builders later. Design/build rather than traditional procurement is a better process for developments
  • MoMalekshahi, MSCC,due to the risks associated with contracting and construction, it is imperative to approach the project from a different perspective
  • Rob Robinson, MSCC,the political struggle is always an issue with public housing. HUD is a source of funds, and there is an opportunity to approach HUD because of the current battle between the federal government and NYCHA. 
  • Rob Robinson, MSCC rob.robinson423@gmail.com,  646-509-9986,  The
  • UnHomeless NYC exhibition that began at “Kingsborough Community College Art Museum in 2022 is to address the stigma of homelessness by presenting socially engaging artworks using research and data. The exhibition at Hudson Guild builds upon the one at Kingsborough, reuniting a selection of artworks that engage in critical discourse on social structures and the housing crisis. The exhibition will be coupled with events which connect artists, students, educators, and activists to understand the critical issues surrounding the problem and explore ways to resolve it” https://unhomelessnyc.commons.gc.cuny.edu/ 
  • Susan Stetzer, CB3,there is pushback on design/build because the city does not allow for guarantees for the community or inputs from the community on the final design
  • David Goldstein, Hydronic Shell Technology,noted that for this reason, there is considerable community input and engagement from the Syracuse community
  • Luana Green, MSCC, we need to work together to stop the loss of housing. There are so many examples, such as Liberty City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, where people have never returned to their homes as a result of gentrification and development
  • Naysha Diaz, Executive for Governor Hochul, reports to the Governor about what is happening on the ground and the community’s concerns, requests, and needs in preparation for the upcoming budget Naysha.diaz@exec.ny.gov / Manhattan.IGA@exec.ny.gov
  • Luana Green, MSCC, is there a cost-benefit analysis for the Hydronic Shell Technology
  • David Goldstein, Hydronic Shell Technology, the cost projection will show less costs as economies of scale kick in
  • Alex Yong, WSNA NYC, is asking if there is feedback from the Boston tenants.
  • David Goldstein, Hydronic Shell Technology, said the Boston project was finished in late 2022 but had no feedback. However, the Syracuse project will provide tenant feedback
  • John Mudd, MSCC, outlined the dates of the four forums and noted David will be involved. https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/four-forums-for-the-greater-good-series-2990829
  • Celines Miranda, the panels seem to be industrial, and is it possible to have the external panels look more homely
  • David Goldstein, Hydronic Shell Technology, agrees with Celines and that it is important to have community input to ensure all buildings suit communities and are diverse

ACTIONS

  • David Goldstein, Hydronic Shell Technology, If there are connections to NYCHA in the committee, please pass them on to David

UNHOMELESS NYC EXHIBITION

Midori Yamamura, Assistant Professor of Art History, CUNY Kingsborough

  • “The author of Yayoi Kusama: Inventing the Singular (MIT Press: 2015) and a co-editor of Visual Representations of the Cold War and Postcolonial Struggles: Arts in East and Southeast Asia (Routledge: 2021), Yamamura is a specialist in post-WWII Asian and Asian Diaspora art and feminist art. She was a historical adviser and one of the interviewees in Heather Lenz’s film Kusama Infinity. She received her Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center. Among various distinctions, she received grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Japan Foundation. She was a predoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) postdoctoral fellow at the Tokyo Research Institute of Cultural Properties (Tobunken), living and researching Japanese contemporary art for fourteen months, before her appointment at Kingsborough. Previously, she lectured at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and taught classes at Pratt Institute, Hunter College, and Fordham University. She was appointed an Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC) Distinguished Scholar at the CUNY Graduate Center in Fall 2022.”
  • Midori met Rob Robinson at the Grad Centre when he was sharing his story and was touched by the journey Rob took and it was from here that the exhibition grew
  • The exhibition aims to create an understanding of homelessness 
  • The UnHomeless NYC exhibition that began at “Kingsborough Community College Art Museum in 2022 is to address the stigma of homelessness by presenting socially engaging artworks using research and data. The exhibition at Hudson Guild builds upon the one at Kingsborough, reuniting a selection of artworks that engage in critical discourse on social structures and the housing crisis. The exhibition will be coupled with events which connect artists, students, educators, and activists to understand the critical issues surrounding the problem and explore ways to resolve it” https://unhomelessnyc.commons.gc.cuny.edu/ 


Rob Robinson, Housing Activist and Professor of Urbanism, The New School of Social Research

  • Rob Robinson was a co-founder and member of the Leadership Committee of the Take Back the Land Movement and is currently a Special Advisor at Partners for Dignity and Rights (formerly known as NESRI). After losing his job in 2001, he spent two years homeless on the streets of Miami and ten months in a New York City shelter. He eventually overcame homelessness and has been in the housing movement based in New York City since 2007. In the fall of 2009, Rob was chosen to be the New York City chairperson for the first-ever official mission to the US of a UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing. He was a member of an advance team coordinated by the US Human Rights Network in early 2010, traveling to Geneva, Switzerland, several times to prepare for the United States’ initial appearance in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Rob has worked with homeless populations in Budapest, Hungary, and Berlin, Germany, and is connected with housing and land movements in South Africa and Brazil. He works with the European Squatters Collective, the International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI), the Landless People’s Movement (MST), the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) in Brazil, and the Platform of People Affected by Mortgages in Spain (PAH). He currently serves on behalf of IAI as the coordinator of the USA-Canada Alliance of Inhabitants
  • He is a regular guest lecturer at the City University of New York Graduate Center and University Law Schools throughout the US and Canada. Rob works with the New School University where he mentors students and supports their thesis projects in an architectural master’s degree program called Design and Urban Ecology. He was appointed an adjunct professor of Urbanism at New School in September 2021
  • Rob spoke about his journey and the services and people who helped Rob while he was homeless
  • Rob outlined the events taking place relating to the Unhomelessness NYC exhibition. They are listed below and are found at https://unhomelessnyc.commons.gc.cuny.edu/events/
  • Thu.  Feb. 8 – 7 PM 
    Opening Reception: Keynote Speaker Clyde Kuemmerle
    Screening: Uneven Growth  
    Panel Discussion: Miguel Robles-Durán, Shaindy Weichman, Robert Robinson  
    Location: Hudson Guild, 441 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10001
  • Tue.  Feb. 13 – 6 PM 
    The Midtown South Community Council: Health Before Profits  
    Location: The People’s Forum, 320 W 37th St., New York, NY 10018
  • Sat.  Feb. 17 – 2 PM  
    Screening: Rabble Rousers: Frances Goldin and the Fight for Cooper Square  
    Panel Discussion: Kelly Anderson (Dir.), Tom Angotti, Robert Robinson  
    Location: The People’s Forum, 320 W 37th St., New York, NY 10018
  • Tue.  Feb. 20 – 6 PM 
    The Midtown South Community Council: Rent is Too Damned High
    Location: The People’s Forum, 320 W 37th St., New York, NY 10018
  • Tue.  Feb 27 – 6 PM 
    The Midtown South Community Council: Saving Public Housing  
    Location: The People’s Forum, 320 W 37th St., New York, NY 10018
  • Sat.   Mar. 2 – 2 PM 
    Picture the Homeless Oral History Project with Lynn Lewis 
    Location: Hudson Guild, 441 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10001
  • Tue.  Mar. 5 – 6 PM 
    The Midtown South Community Council: And Urbanizing for Public Use Development
    Location: The People’s Forum, 320 W 37th St., New York, NY 10018
  • Sat.  Mar. 9 – 2 PM 
    Unlock NYC workshop on the sources of income discrimination.  
    Location: Hudson Guild, 441 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10001
  • Tue.  Mar. 12 – 6 PM 
    CUNY Panel with BMCC students and Deborah Harte  
    Location: Hudson Guild, 441 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10001
  • Sat.  Mar. 16 – 2 PM 
    Anti-Eviction Mapping Project workshop
    Location: Hudson Guild, 441 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10001
  • Tue.  Mar. 19 – 6 PM 
    Eric Goldfischer (Professor, Queens College) and Sam Stein (Community Service Society)
    Rethinking homelessness: Who is homeless? Why does homelessness persist? What is to be done about it?
    Location: Hudson Guild, 441 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10001
  • Wed.  Apr. 3 – 6 PM Closing Reception 
    Panel Discussion: Jessica Katz, Jason Leggett, and Robert Robinson 
    Location: Hudson Guild, 441 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10001

RISING HOMELESSNESS 

Tamara Felix, Community Affairs Coordinator, Manhattan Outreach Consortium (MOC) Tamara.felix@cucs.org, 198 East 121st Street, New York, NY 10035, 212-801-3376

  • Funded by the Department of Homeless Services
  • Goddard Riverside established the MOC in 2007 to bring all city-funded street outreach work under one umbrella. The consortium includes the Center for Urban Community Services and Breaking Ground. Each agency handles outreach in its home community, where it has the deepest roots and strongest institutional knowledge.
  • The Manhattan Outreach Consortium provides homeless street outreach 365 days a year, including in the coldest and hottest seasons known as Code Blue and Code Red. MOC is responsible for the entire borough’s evening, night, and weekend outreach. Goddard Riverside dispatches teams to follow up on all Manhattan-bound calls and messages from the city’s 311 system, a major point of contact for New Yorkers who want to report someone on the street needing help.
  • MOC teams are out around Manhattan 24/7. These trained specialists devote months and often years to developing trusting relationships with unsheltered people. The teams connect people needing medical and psychiatric care, food, and shelter while helping them transition into permanent housing—often into Goddard Riverside’s transitional and supportive housing facilities.
  • This model has proved highly effective. Since late 2007, the MOC has placed more than 3,100 formerly unsheltered adults in permanent housing.
  • The main reason for homelessness is the lack of housing and the types of housing needed. Much of the housing available is dormitory style. This is not applicable or preferable for most people. Many prefer to stay in the street if the only option is to share with people they don’t know

DISCUSSION

  • John Mudd, MSCC, what are the numbers of people without homes? And what are the immigration stats?
  • Tamara Felix, MOC, the caseload has increased by 40% and asylum seekers are directed to the Department of Homeless Services
  • Susan Stetzer, CB3, we lobby for increased funding for you but it’s hard to get the City to respond. What is the staffing ratio with this increased caseload, and have you increased funding?
  • Tamara Felix, MOC, is always looking for new staff and does not have the information for funding at this stage
  • Midori Yamamura, CUNY Kingsborough, 85,000 people are homeless in New York (Update: On Feb 26, 2024, 87,315 people were homeless in New York https://www.nyc.gov/assets/dhs/downloads/pdf/dailyreport.pdf)
  • Bennett Reinhardt, Open Hearts Initiative, supports people in shelters and on the street. Has MOC engaged over the last few weeks with asylum seekers coping with the 30-day limit? Food and clothing?
  • Tamara Felix, MOC, yes, we direct them to the refugee centers and DHS to support their housing 
  • Susan Stetzer, CB3, added the reticketing center is on 7th Street, where the commissioner for emergency management. It takes up to 5 or 6 days to get a shelter bed with 30 days of shelter. Instead of being bussed to a basement in the Bronx to sit in a chair for the night, many prefer to stay in the parks for fear of losing their spots on the line. Advocating for the city to create more overflow warming centers with services and case workers
  • John Mudd, MSCC, the 30-day limit is abusive. Is there any legal progress?
  • Susan Stetzer, CB3, has not seen any progress yet
  • Bennett Reinhardt, Open Hearts Initiative, the resources are different for asylum seekers, and options are limited. The right to shelter should apply to all. A lot of effort is being made to get the best outcome for people looking for asylum
  • Susan Stetzer, CB3, noted that New Yorkers do not get a bed the same night and are on a list. We must increase stable beds and housing
  • John Mudd, MSCC, Charmaine Moses, and charmainemoseshome@gmail.com want to develop a shelter and need an NFP partner.  Contact john.mudd@usa.net. John will connect Charmaine and with Sueranna Antoine, suerannaantoine@yahoo.com, to discuss options
  • Sueranna Antoine, Respite Bed Operations Manager at Grand Central Neighborhood Social Services Corporation (GCNSSC), a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization committed to providing immediate relief to New York City’s Homeless population providing services through the MainChance Multi-Service Center. The numbers are increasing with 271,859 individuals seeking services (to include showers, medical services, case management/housing services, substance abuse referrals and services, mental health referrals and services), over 302,622 individuals have utilized the kitchen for meals, over 104,496 individuals have utilized the chair for nightly reprieve and over 58,126 individuals utilized the respite bed for nightly relief. Over the past five years of servicing and housed over 1,126 individuals in either permanent or transitional housing. Created an in-house saving program that enables the client to save the needed funds to move into housing

CHATBOX

COMMUNITY EVENTS

  • Luana Green, MSCC, First Fruit Community Outreach Food Distribution, is affiliated with a number of restaurants that donate food. If you need food, please reach out to Luana at psalm316.lg@gmail.com 

Volunteers are needed, too.

  • Susan Stetzer, CB3, East Village Loves https://www.evloves.nyc/  hello@evloves.nyc EVLoves NYC is a group of friends who began cooking and sharing meals with neighbors in need during the first weeks of the pandemic lockdown. Over the past three years, it has grown into a volunteer-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit feeding NYC’s food insecure, partnering with more than 85 organizations (churches, mosques, community fridges, mutual aids, etc.) that serve the most challenged populations of NYC. 3,000+ volunteers have spent their Sundays working in our East Village kitchen, preparing, cooking, and packaging hot meals for distribution throughout the five boroughs. EVLoves is looking for a new kitchen. Susan will connect Luana and John with EVLoves NYC. The precinct is helping with the food distribution. 

ACTIONS

Volunteers are needed, too.

  • Susan Stetzer, CB3, will connect Luana Green and John Mudd with EVLoves NYC, hello@evloves.nyc
  • Tamara Felix, MOC,will reach out to DHS

NEXT Meeting Homeless and Housing Meeting: 9:30 AM Tuesday, March 5, 2024. Always the 1st Tuesday of every month. Contact hello@midtownsouthcc.org or 

john.mudd@usa.net for more information and Zoom invitations.