New York City Signs $77m Contract For Emergency Hotels To House Migrant Families

Aiexpress – Mayor Eric Adams’ administration has recently signed a new emergency contract worth $76.69 million with the Hotel Association of New York City. This contract aims to offer “last resort” shelter to migrant families in need.

Fifteen hotels in Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx are participating in a special program called the “vouchering program.” This program aims to assist asylum-seeking families by providing them with blocks of rooms for up to 28 days. This initiative will run until July, offering temporary accommodation to those in need.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Adams made it clear that he and his team would not tolerate any child or family being left to sleep on the streets.

The hotel industry, which was still recovering from the loss of business during the coronavirus pandemic, has found a silver lining in the migrant crisis.

In September, The Post revealed that the city had extended contracts with the hotel association for three years, at an astonishing cost of $1.3 billion. This amount was nearly five times the original $275 million deal and was solely for paying rental fees to over 100 hotels that had been converted into emergency shelters.

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As of now, the city Department of Housing and Preservation Development (HPD) is overseeing the program, which provides shelter to 493 households.

“The City has made managing the costs of the asylum seeker crisis a priority, so we worked with them to ensure the costs and commitments of housing newcomers in our hotels were as low as possible,” said Vijay Dandapani, president and CEO of the Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC).

“We’re proud of the work we’ve done as an industry to aid the City in its mission to care for asylum seekers who arrive in New York. We are corporate citizens and New Yorkers ourselves, and our businesses rely on immigrants every day,” added Dandapani.

HPD has announced that the recent contract between HPD and HANYC formalizes their collaboration, which has been ongoing since July 2023. The program will be funded until July 2024.

Through this program, the city has provided over 3,000 hotel rooms to migrant households.

According to the Houston Police Department (HPD), migrant families are referred to the hotel voucher program as a “last resort” when other shelters are unable to accommodate them.

After the 28-day period, families have the option to go back to the arrival centers, also known as Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers (HPD), to secure another placement.

“Since spring 2022, New York City has been at the forefront of addressing the nationwide humanitarian crisis, offering unwavering support, compassion, and essential services to over 170,700 migrants who have sought refuge in our city. The dedicated efforts of our city workers have guaranteed that every family with children has been provided with a comfortable bed and a safe roof over their heads. Simultaneously, we have been working tirelessly to minimize costs and assist individuals in transitioning out of shelters, enabling them to establish stability in their lives. This contract will empower the city to negotiate competitive rates, ensuring our continued response to this unprecedented crisis,” stated William Fowler, spokesperson for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

According to Fowler, the Hotel Vouchering Program plays a crucial role in the city’s efforts to assist migrant families with children. It allows them to negotiate a competitive rate for 28-day hotel stays when there are no other viable options available. Although it is not the preferred or permanent solution, it is an essential component in addressing the needs of the migrants on a daily basis.

The program operates independently from the usual long-term agreements for the utilization of entire hotels. These hotels are transformed into emergency shelters and are exclusively reserved for that purpose, not open to regular customers.

According to officials, the city has provided emergency shelter to over 170,700 migrants during the border crisis, which is now in its third year. More than 210 shelter sites have been opened to accommodate these individuals.

The Adams administration is tirelessly searching for available space to shelter the continuous stream of migrants arriving in the Big Apple from the US-Mexico border.

The organization established encampments at various locations in New York City, including Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, Randall’s Island, and a converted building at JFK airport, all serving as shelters.

Adams is calling on President Biden to take action on the border-migrant crisis, which falls under federal responsibility. He is also requesting additional aid for New York City to support the services required for the influx of asylum seekers.

The White House has mostly ignored his appeals.

Last week, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a significant allocation of $2.4 billion in state funding to address the pressing issue of the migrant crisis. This generous funding is a part of her comprehensive $233 billion executive budget plan.

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