New York City workers borrow money from homeless customers for rent – NBC New York
Two New York City housing specialists assigned to a Manhattan homeless shelter quit after asking residents of the shelter to lend them money so that city workers can pay their own rent, according to a decision of the Conflict of Interest Council published on Tuesday.
Jacqueline Brown-Fernandez was an employee of the city’s Homeless Services Department who was assigned to the Catherine Street Shelter in Manhattan in the spring and summer of 2019.
In her role, she had to help a resident of the shelter find permanent accommodation.
But as Brown-Fernandez admitted in documents made public by the board, “(in) October 2019, I asked the client to loan me $ 500 so that I could pay my rent.” The resident of the shelter lent her the money, which she repaid the following month.
A few weeks later, Brown-Fernandez admitted, she applied for another loan, for $ 130, to pay her phone bill. The client loaned her the money, which she then paid back.
She agreed to resign from the department as punishment for breaking city charter rules regarding officials using their posts for personal gain.
A second town housing specialist from the same shelter, Marilyn Olan, also resigned in a settlement with the conflict board after admitting to twice asking a shelter resident for a total of $ 1,900 in loans, for rent and other bills. In this case, the resident refused both requests.