March 7, 2019 By Jon Cronin
The opponents of a proposed homeless shelter in College Point have retained a lawyer as they get ready to do battle with the Department of Homeless Services.
The College Point Residents Coalition, a group that formed soon after the public heard that a 200 all-male transitional shelter was being planned for the area, has hired E. Christopher Murray who has experience helping Queens residents fight against the opening of homeless shelters—notably in Glendale and Ozone Park.
Murray, an attorney with Uniondale-based Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, said that he will file suit against DHS to block a proposed shelter at 127-03 Ave 20th Ave. should the deal be approved. He said he won’t file suit until DHS has signed off on the plan.
“Hopefully they will change their mind,” Murray said, and a lawsuit won’t need to be filed.
Murray, however, is preparing for that possibility and has filed Freedom of Information Requests to find out whether the city has unfairly saturated the neighborhood with public services, which could be grounds to argue against its opening.
He is also investigating the condition building. He is looking to find out what complaints and violations have been filed against the building and whether it is fit for housing.
Murray didn’t reveal what arguments he would present should he ultimately file a lawsuit.