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Dec 22, 2010 12:22 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Housing Plan For Homeless Sex Offenders Passes Legislature

Dec 22, 2010 12:22 PM

The Suffolk County Legislature has narrowly approved a program to house homeless sex offenders in a series of small shelters spread throughout the county—although it remains to be seen whether or not the plan will survive an anticipated veto by County Executive Steve Levy.

The new housing program would replace the one that has been in place for the last three years, which places all of the county’s homeless sex offenders in a pair of trailers in Southampton Town. One of the trailers sits on the Suffolk County Jail property in Riverside, and the other is located near the Suffolk County Police shooting range in Westhampton.

Legislators approved the new program on Tuesday, with an 11-7 vote. But the plan is vulnerable to a veto from Mr. Levy, who resisted efforts earlier this year to institute a new housing plan for the homeless sex offenders. Twelve votes are needed to override a veto.

A spokesman for Mr. Levy did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Wednesday morning. Legislator Jay Schneiderman of Montauk, who represents the South Fork and has pushed for the new housing plan, said on Wednesday that he expects Mr. Levy to veto the bill, so he will try to secure the votes needed for an override.

“He seems to be throwing up the obstacles anywhere he can to get rid of the trailers,” Mr. Schneiderman said of Mr. Levy.

If the plan goes forward, a company called Community Housing Innovations, which is based in White Plains, would be paid to manage the new housing program for the estimated two dozen homeless sex offenders. The new shelters each would house only a handful of sex offenders, who would be monitored around the clock and provided with rehabilitation services. The locations of the shelters would not be announced until after they opened, but only one would be placed in any single town or legislative district.

The bill approved by the legislature on Tuesday directs the county’s Department of Social Services to enter into a contract with Community Housing Innovations no later than January 15.

Earlier this fall, the legislature directed the department to close the trailers in Southampton Town and institute a new housing program by October 15, but the department asked the legislature to hold another vote to approve the proposal by Community Housing Innovations, the only company that vied for the contract. That request sparked a standoff between the legislature and the department that was broken when Legislator Ed Romaine of Center Moriches introduced the bill in November.

“They asked for us to approve the CHI plan. We did it,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “It was a narrow vote, but we did it.”

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that's real transparency for you - we'll announce the location of these places after they are open. Community Housing Innovations has a less than stellar record with the property they manage on Edwards Street in Westhampton Besach.
This deal smells.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Dec 24, 10 10:59 PM
And, that ain't just low tide, brother...
By Mr. Z (11670), North Sea on Dec 24, 10 11:37 PM
Why don't we also give them a free car and a monthly stipend for food. I don't want my tax dollars going for this crap. Are all politicians weak and spineless.
By maxwell (169), speonk on Dec 25, 10 2:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
Then what do you suggest as an alternative? Currently the county spends millions rounding them up and taxiing them to Riverside to the jail parking lot, no not inside in a protected area but outside where they are free to rome the Towns of Southampton and Riverhead as they see fit. No counseling, no oversight, no assurance from anyone that our community is being protected. It is mandated by law that these people are housed and is the duty of Suffolk Social Service to do so but is it the Town of ...more
By Brad (28), Northampton on Dec 28, 10 8:49 PM
Will any be going out to Montauk????
By LongIslander (43), HAMPTON BAYS on Dec 29, 10 10:11 PM
The new shelters each would house only a handful of sex offenders, who would be monitored around the clock and provided with rehabilitation services. The locations of the shelters would not be announced until after they opened, but only one would be placed in any single town or legislative district.
Why waste tax dollars set up the shelters on Plumb Island. They could be put to work cleaning and decontaminating cages. Plus there they would all be monitored around the clock. We all must remember ...more
By Dragharbor1980 (9), North Haven on Dec 29, 10 10:23 PM
Sorry about the typo should be Plum Island.
By Dragharbor1980 (9), North Haven on Dec 29, 10 11:03 PM
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