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New York Post - New York, N.Y.
Author: Elliott, Tom
Date: Sep 5, 2006
Start Page: 033
Section: PostOpinion
Abstract (Document Summary)

A documentary filmmaker who's lived across from the building (formerly the Mount Royal Hotel) for the past five years says, "You noticed right away that the neighborhood changed, literally overnight. You now notice people stumbling down the street, clearly chemically incapacitated." Marina Higgins, a longtime Upper West Side resident, fears The Apple will drag down local property values. A real-estate manager at The Argo Corp., she saw a drop in value for a property she oversees on West 101st Street in2003 - when the city opened The Frant, another "temporary" shelter, across the street.

"Some of these people shouldn't live in this area," agreed one Apple resident/Department of Homeless Services client, herself a former crack dealer. "I seen a 20-yearold pregnant crackhead, [offering acts of prostitution] on the corner . . . There are at least two crack dealers in The Apple."

DHS is trying to quell community concerns, say Apple residents. "They tell us we're not allowed to stand around on this street," one pregnant resident said, pointing to 94th Street between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive. "So everyone just walks around the corner to smoke." Many residents told of a client who gave an interview to a NY1 reporter, bemoaning The Apple's squalid conditions - then, on returning to the shelter, was told by an official, "Give another interview, and you're evicted." Inside, the most popular complaint is bedbugs.

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