Mayor De Blasio Seeks Vendors To Source Hotel Rooms For The Homeless

The De Blasio administration is looking for non-profit vendors to find hotel rooms for homeless New Yorkers.

By Annette Barlow January 6, 2017

Although repeatedly identifying temporary hotel accommodation for the homeless population as an untenable housing solution, De Blasio’s administration is currently seeking non-profit vendors to take over the contracts to find hotel rooms in bulk for homeless New Yorkers. The contracts would last anywhere between three and nine years, throwing into question De Blasio’s assertion that the use of hotel rooms as interim accommodation is temporary.

This measure would, according to the Department of Homeless Services, allow the city to save money on the cost of renting commercial hotel rooms at face value, while also formalizing the process of using hotels as homeless accommodation, and thereby allowing the city to establish a better oversight of homeless services.

RelatedDe Blasio Makes Affordable Housing Easier For The Needy

The city’s use of hotel rooms has dramatically increased in recent years, and as of February 2016, 2,656 homeless people were living in hotel rooms across New York. In fact, the city currently spends $40,000 each day to house 7,200 people in 3,300 hotel rooms. Single adults cost the city $170 per night to house in hotels, and $174 per night for families with children.

But this is only a small part of New York’s increasingly serious housing crisis, as the number of homeless people in the city rose to 60,000 this year alone. The city currently spends $1.2 billion per year on shelter costs for the homeless population, and although the last two years have seen 30 new shelters spring up across the Big Apple, hotel rooms provide a significant emergency resource until De Blasio’s planned shelters can be opened.

Indeed, the new contracts to seek bulk hotel rooms for the city’s use would ask vendors to source 3,900 hotel rooms, with 2,500 rooms set aside for families with children. Vendors would also be hired to secure services for homeless clients, an often-overlooked issue where hotels are concerned, frequently lacking basic services as they do. Some homeless providers have applauded this new policy, which they say will address this lack of services, while other homeless service providers insist the city should concentrate its efforts on establishing new shelters.

RelatedCorona Queens Infrastructure Is Being Overburdened And Urges de Blasio To Check Development

It’s a tricky situation the city finds itself in, keen to stop using hotels as temporary accommodation and yet lacking in sufficient current alternatives. The number of people approved for city-funded homeless shelter is ever-increasing, and yet establishing long-term housing solutions not only costs huge amounts of money, but also comes up against numerous roadblocks, slowly down the process no end. Local residents often oppose the erection of newly established homeless shelters, while clusters (privately owned apartments used as temporary shelters) threaten the real estate market, taking private, affordable units off the rental market.

In fact, De Blasio spokeswoman Asa Worthy-Davis is keen to remind New Yorkers of their responsibility in finding a solution: “We want to transition out of housing the homeless in commercial hotels, and to do that we need greater acceptance that shelters are needed citywide.”

Annette Barlow



Annette is freelance editor, sub-editor, journalist and proofreader with a fierce love of all things feminist, food and music. She is a regular fixture on the arts, culture and feature desks at The Guardian, and her words have appeared on NME, Great British Chefs, The Fly, The Line of Best Fit and Australian Times.

    Stefano Boeri, the architect mastermind behind the famous plant-covered skyscrapers, is now designing Forest Cities in Liuzhou, China. #ForestCity #China
    Auction is the second scheduled in a month for a One57 unit and it could set a NYC foreclosure record. #BillionairesRow #Foreclosures
    Once a couch-surfing website, Airbnb moves on to luxury properties, further disrupting hospitality industry. #Airbnb #Luxury
While Other Real Estate Platforms Start Charging Agents $3-Per-Day Exposure Fee, Agorafy Remains Accessible To All
Real Estate searching platform are always finding news ways to diversify their revenues models. Case in point—on Tuesday July 18, Streeteasy, one of New York…
Is Real Estate Crowdfunding The Fix That Urban Housing In America Really Needs?
Saving money for a down payment? One can only hope. Most millennial in their twenties or thirties are mortified that they might never be able…
Brooklyn And Queens’ Real Estate Sub-Markets Continue Their Ascent To The New Heights
So, the sales prices in Brooklyn and Queens hit record highs. Again. Just like they did in December 2016 and at the end of this…
The Economy Of Car Services And Delivery Apps Might Be Making NYC Less Eco-Friendly
Living in an eco-friendly neighborhood is a good thing. And, as it always the case with the good things, it also costs more. High rents…
Building Communities: What The U.S. Developers Should Learn From Soho China
As our world emerges into the new period of globalization and technology, some of the most important by-products of this process are buildings that have…
Five Reasons Why All Entrepreneurs Must Keep Their Eyes On China
It is hard to overestimate the importance of Chinese influence on the modern global economy. Carving out a place in Chinese market and winning over…
Airbnb Up Their Game With A New Luxury Tier Featuring Mansions And Villas
Airbnb is about to seriously up their game. First, the company started testing a new service called Select in an attempt to push accommodation listings…
Will Artificial Intelligence Change Real Estate Industry In The Next Five Years?
Globalization and tech progress are the two forces that are irreversibly changing the world. Robots, machines, artificial intelligence (AI) tools, and, of course, vast amounts…