New York City Council Header
File #: Int 1927-2020    Version: Name: COVID-19 Relief Package - Requiring private rooms for adults experiencing homelessness.
Type: Introduction Status: Laid Over in Committee
Committee: Committee on General Welfare
On agenda: 4/22/2020
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: A Local Law in relation to requiring private rooms for adults experiencing homelessness
Sponsors: Stephen T. Levin, Corey D. Johnson, Ben Kallos, James G. Van Bramer, Margaret S. Chin, Brad S. Lander, Carlina Rivera , Antonio Reynoso, Robert F. Holden
Summary: This bill would require the Department of Social Services (DSS) to provide all single adults in the City’s various shelter system, including Department of Homeless Services, Department of Youth and Community Development and faith-based or community shelters, as well as single adults experiencing homelessness who are currently unsheltered and adult members of families who are symptomatic or have tested positive with COVID-19 with the option of transferring to a private room. It would require that DHS provide a daily report to the Speaker of the Council regarding the number of rooms DHS has made available to single adults and that are occupied by single adults, the unmet need for private rooms among this population and aggregated demographic information on single adults occupying private rooms. The bill would also require that DHS create and implement a plan that would ensure that shelters reduce the risk of COVID-19 by locating beds at least six feet apart unless they are located in a private room occupied by members of the same family.
Indexes: Report Required
Attachments: 1. Summary of Int. No. 1927-A, 2. Summary of Int. No. 1927, 3. Int. No. 1927, 4. April 22, 2020 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 5. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 4-22-20, 6. Committee Report 4/23/20, 7. Hearing Testimony 4/23/20, 8. Hearing Transcript 4/23/20, 9. Proposed Int. No. 1927-A - 5/21/20, 10. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - April 22, 2020

Proposed Int. No. 1927-A

 

By Council Members Levin, the Speaker (Council Member Johnson), Kallos, Van Bramer, Chin, Lander, Rivera, Reynoso and Holden

 

A Local Law in relation to requiring private rooms for adults experiencing homelessness

 

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

 

Section 1. Private rooms for adults experiencing homelessness. a. For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

Adult members of families. The term “adult members of families” means adult members of families who become symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19, provided that the remainder of the family shall be safely sheltered without the presence of such adult.

COVID-19. The term “COVID-19” means coronavirus disease 2019, as named by the world health organization.

Department. The term “department” meant the department of social services.

Private room. The term “private room” means a room used for sleeping that is assigned to no more than one person and that has an internally adjoining restroom.

Shelter. The term “shelter” means temporary emergency housing provided to individuals experiencing homelessness by the department or a provider under contract or similar agreement with the department, by the department of community and youth development, by faith-based and community shelters run outside of the department, or by the human resources administration.

Single adult. The term “single adult” means an adult without an accompanying adult or child experiencing homelessness.

b. The department shall provide all single adults residing in a shelter or eligible for placement in a shelter, and adult members of families residing in a shelter or eligible for placement in a shelter, with the option of a private room. The department shall provide such individuals residing in a shelter with 24 hours’ notice before they are transferred to such private rooms. The department shall provide safe and timely transportation to such private rooms. The department shall ensure that services for those with serious mental illness and substance use disorders are provided for individuals who require such services who are transferred to private rooms including, but not limited to, frequent wellness checks. The department shall also implement protocols to prevent harm and self-harm of individuals transferred to private rooms, including drug overdose.

c. The department shall ensure that all shelters implement protocols to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection spread through such facilities, including but not limited to, ensuring that beds are located at least six feet apart from each other, unless located in a private room and requiring that, where practicable, staff of such facilities maintain a distance of at least six feet from one another at all times.

d. No later than one day after this local law takes effect, and every day thereafter, the department shall provide the speaker of the council with a report including the number of rooms the department has made available to single adults and are occupied by single adults pursuant to subdivision b of this section; the unmet need, if any, for private rooms for single adults; and aggregated demographic information, including race, age, gender identity and previous residence, of single adults occupying private rooms provided by the department.

e. The department shall develop a plan for shelters to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection spread. The department shall publish such plan on its website and distribute such plan to each shelter no later than one day after this local law takes effect. Each shelter shall implement such plan immediately upon receipt. Each shelter shall be required to post such plan in a conspicuous location accessible to all individuals residing in such shelter. Such plan shall be consistent with the Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Homeless Shelters issued by the department of health.

f. There shall be no involuntary furloughs, layoffs, or loss of hours experienced by security officers providing security services pursuant to a contract with the department as a result of this section. The department shall ensure that program staff and security officers be redeployed as needed to facilities with private rooms. The department shall ensure that all security officers providing security services at locations where private rooms are provided pursuant to this section are compensated at an hourly rate no less than the hourly rate for wages and benefits required for security officers employed pursuant to contracts with department.

g. The requirements imposed pursuant to subdivision b of this section shall no longer apply upon the expiration or repeal of an executive order declaring a State disaster emergency pursuant to section 29-a of article 2-B of the executive law or an executive order by the mayor in relation to COVID-19 that restricts gatherings of individuals in the city. The department shall provide at least 72 hours’ notice that the requirement to provide private rooms is no longer in effect and shall offer individuals the right to be transferred back to the shelter where they resided prior to being placed in a private room.

§ 2. This local law takes effect immediately.

 

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LS #14747

5/8/2020 5:47pm