Residents Fume Over Planned Homeless Shelter in Queens Hotel

Residents of Maspeth, Queens, and a city council member who represents the neighborhood fumed Thursday over the city's plan to house homeless families in a neighborhood hotel. 

Hundreds of the concerned residents are expected to turn up to a community meeting Thursday night, where the plan to turn the Holiday Inn Express into a haven for the homeless will be discussed. 

Mike Locascio, a community organizer who lives within blocks of the planned shelter, will be one of them. "Why they so hot to open it there now," Locascio told NBC 4 New York. "It just doesn't make sense." 

City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley (D-Queens) agrees with her constituents, and says Mayor de Blasio has unfairly picked buildings in Queens to use for homeless shelters.

"Since mayor de Blasio has been mayor, he has been putting homeless shelters in Queens left and right," Crowley told NBC 4 New York. "And this Maspeth area is already within walking distance of 3 shelters."

The mayor's office, however, said about 250 people in the shelter system listed their most recent address as being in the Maspeth area, likely representing individuals separated from their families or other social networks.

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