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Judge Orders NYC: Get 4,500+ Special Housing Units for Mentally Ill in 3 Years

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By Joel Zand on March 01, 2010 10:46 AM

A federal judge in Brooklyn ordered New York City to provide to provide or build at least 1,500 integrated residential housing units each year for mentally ill residents receiving services in the city, "until there is sufficient capacity for all [of the city's mentally ill patients] who desire such housing, and no fewer than 4,500 units in" all.

Last September, the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn ruled that New York City violated the rights of mentally ill patients under the Americans with Disabilities Act by keeping them in group homes, thereby failing to help deliver mental health services in appropriate settings to New York City residents with mental illness.

U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis will also appoint a federal monitor to oversee implementation of his order, "given the complexity of the case and the vulnerable population at issue," as well as the foot-dragging of government agencies named in the lawsuit.

According to Judge Garaufis,the governmental defendants' "refus[ed] to abide by the court's findings in crafting their patently inadequate proposal" to help mentally ill people become re-integrated into society instead of being cared for separately and inadequately in group homes.

You can read the court's memorandum decision and order in the case here:

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