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Why Run a Slum If You Can Make More Money Housing the Homeless?

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Map: A $90 Million Shelter Empire

The city declines to publish the addresses of homeless shelters, making their ownership difficult to determine. But information gathered from various public sources (see explanatory note below) suggests the Podolsky family and their associates control close to 40 facilities, some through direct ownership, others through net leases or operating agreements with Alan Lapes. And the network is expanding: A controversial Brooklyn shelter is currently awaiting final approval, and other Podolsky properties appear poised for conversion.

A $90 Million Shelter Empire: Click to expand

A note on sources: This graphic was compiled via documents from the NYC Comptroller's office, including a list of shelter addresses obtained via a Freedom of Information request, as well as other public records and site visits. Revenue estimates were derived from the comptroller's payment records, contract budgets, and a 2012 audit for Aguila Inc. filed with the NY State Charities bureau. When available, the estimated number of beds or units in each Manhattan shelter was taken from the Housing Solutions USA website. Bronx cluster unit estimates were derived from a count as of this August, provided by the Coalition for the Homeless. Shelter use of Brooklyn addresses determined via internal correspondence produced as part of federal lawsuit, site visits, and tenant interviews.

Jenna Kagel contributed reporting.


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