The Fulton County YMCA has filed a 10-page report with the Gloversville Planning Board that seeks to justify adding 30 new beds to the YMCA’s downtown facility.
Planning Board members considered the Y’s application Feb. 5, but sent it back for additional information including how the business district will be affected by expanding YMCA housing to about 53 beds. The application, augmented by the information in the 10-page report, will be reconsidered by the board at its March 4 meeting.
Critics term the proposed $3.5 million project “homeless housing,” and contend it will contribute to the deterioration of the city.
YMCA Executive Director Steven Serge has argued the housing is needed. He said last week that the YMCA had all the data on file from its successful grant application for $3.5 million in state housing funding. When the YMCA moves its recreational facilities to its new Harrison Street site this summer, Serge has said, work would begin on the East Fulton Street facility.
The report mentions that while the housing project would be planned in conjunction with a variety of local agencies, there is no data available on the demographics of homeless individuals and families in Gloversville.
The YMCA seeks to fill that gap in the report by citing the waiting lists kept by the Gloversville Housing Authority for its elderly and Section 8 housing programs. Recently, according to the YMCA’s information, the GHA had a waiting list of 117 people for its elderly housing and 189 families for its Section 8 program.
The Planning Board asked what agencies would provide services to the new YMCA tenants. The report lists the YMCA itself, as well as Fulton County Department of Social Services, Fulmont Community Action Program, Fulton County Alcoholism Clinic and the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council, Fulton County Mental Health Services, Bridge Program, Family Counseling Center and the YWCA.
In a description of the project, the YMCA said in the report it “is not an emergency shelter. It is a hybrid between transitional and permanent housing. It is permanent housing in that there is no limit imposed on the length of stay by residents. In fact, some of the current residents have lived at the YMCA for years,” the report said. The report speculates that a number of the residents, as they obtain jobs, may seek other housing.
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Categories: Schenectady County