People giggled at the title of the 2011 movie Mars Needs Moms, but no one’s laughing at the fact that New York’s sleep hotel industry now finds itself in need of the homeless.
As the Post recently reported, New York City currently pays hotels to provide rooms for a whopping 11,000 homeless at a cost of $222 a night.
For the Big Apple’s hotel industry on the slide, homeless residents are a figurative breath of fresh air.
At issue is a glut of hotel rooms citywide — from 76,400 in 2008 to 115,000 today – with nearly 20,000 more expected in the next few years.
Just weeks ago, the de Blasio Administration announced that nearly 1,500 street homeless New Yorkers had successfully transitioned off the streets and into safer, more stable environments, including transitional programs and permanent housing. From the spring of 2016 through November 2017, the City placed a total of 1,480 New Yorkers experiencing street homelessness into permanent housing or transitional settings.
“It can take dozens or more contacts to convince homeless New Yorkers to come in off the streets and into permanent housing,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This new milestone proves that our strategy is working and that the growing partnership between the NYPD and our homeless outreach workers is producing more contacts and more transitions from streets and subways into shelter for homeless New Yorkers. The problem wasn’t created overnight and won’t be solved overnight, but we’re headed in the right direction.”
The search for solutions to the homeless problem is an ongoing one. The city has outreach teams mobilized in all five boroughs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; specialized housing set aside for street homeless New Yorkers; and targeted funding to ensure the most effective delivery of resources to the individuals most in need. As part of the City’s commitment to continually redoubling outreach efforts, the de Blasio Administration has committed unprecedented new resources to street outreach programs and providers:
In December, de Blasio said that the City would help not-for-profit developers acquire and rehab residential “cluster site” buildings, currently used to house homeless families, and convert them into permanent affordable housing in a historic move to address the homelessness crisis in New York City. If negotiations to buy cluster site buildings are not successful, he added, the City will use eminent domain to acquire them.
“Our city’s homelessness crisis wasn’t created overnight, and it won’t be solved overnight. It requires us to come up with creative and bold new strategies to help those on the street and those in need of shelter and affordable permanent housing,” said de Blasio. “This initiative will transform dozens of dilapidated temporary apartments into quality, permanently affordable homes. The effort is a clear sign that we will go to any length necessary to help our neighbors get back on their feet.”
By Howard M. Riell