Latest homeless sex offender plan would cost double voucher system

The cost of a plan to house homeless sex offenders at four small shelters throughout the county,  a proposal currently being considered by Suffolk County,  would be double that of a hotel voucher system, according to the director of the organization that submitted the plan.
The plan, which was submitted on behalf of the White Plains-based non-profit Community Housing Innovations, Inc. would cost about $180 a day per offender because of 24-hour supervision, said director Alexander Roberts in an e-mail. The proposal also calls for counseling services and a heavy emphasis on finding long-term housing and employment for the offenders.
The county currently houses about 25 homeless sex offenders at construction trailers at the Suffolk County jail in Riverside and on county-owned property in Westhampton. Housing 25 homeless offenders at $180 a day would cost the county about $1.6 million annually.
The county Legislature passed a bill in June rejecting another proposed program that would have given the offenders a daily $90 stipend for food and lodging at motels. That bill also directed social services to come up with an alternative housing plan within 30 days.
The motel voucher programs is used in other places in New York State, including neighboring Nassau County.
It is not clear exactly how much the trailer program costs to operate, though the News-Review reported last year that the county spent over $300,000 in 2008 taxiing the offenders to and from the makeshift shelters and about $35,000 in maintenance and security costs.
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