Actually, this is a case of "who can meet the demand first", far more than "who has friends in procurement at DHS".
Asa result of court settlements, there is an established "right to shelter" in NYC.
Inflation in the rental market, aggravated by Hurricane Sandy, has caused an explosion in the "shelter homeless" (Note: these folks are different than the people with mental illness and addictions that you see on the subways and on the streets, the "street homeless").
However, court decisions mandate that DHS can only house people in armories in dire emergencies, and for very short periods of time. As dire as the present situation is, it falls short of the standard that would allow the city to use armories.
As a result, there is presently a rush to create additional shelter for the "shelter homeless" population:
a. NYC is helping non-profits create shelters.
b. For profit landlords are desperately creating vacant apartments (as discussed above)
c. Non-profits are now placing the people funded by DHS in beds that would have gone to people who were working, but are low income.
While everyone is working really hard, guess which option is often the fastest?
....this is about very little else.
For better or worse, the change on Nostrand is going to make the change on Franklin look minor.