NYC spends up to $629 per night on hotels for homeless

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NEW YORK — A report issued by New York City’s comptroller’s office says the city paid a rate of $629 a night to house homeless people at a hotel, and in all spent $400,000 per day over the past year.

The report was issued Wednesday by Comptroller Scott Stringer. It says the city booked 60 Manhattan hotel rooms at the high $629 rate on Sept. 19 and 20, which the mayor’s office says was because Manhattan hotel costs rose because of United Nations meetings. However, the average cost for a night was $174, with more than 815 bookings costing $400 or more.

Many of the hotels used are luxury or boutique ones, such as Mave in the Flatiron District or the Excelsior Hotel on the Upper West Side.

Over the course of the year, the number of homeless people in New York skyrocketed from just about 700 to nearly 6,000. That led costs to skyrocket: spending on hotel rooms went from $52,000 to $400,000 per day.

growth-in-hotel-costs-for-citys-homeless

In all, about 2,070 rooms were booked by the Department of Homeless Services each day between November 1, 2015 and October 31, 2016, with a total of 25,000 books costing nearly $73 million.

Over that year,

And Stringer says that hotels aren’t even the most effective means of shelter for homeless individuals, because they often have limited services available to get people back on their feet, such as child care and kitchens.

“These costs are absolutely alarming,” Stringer said. “While I know that progress will take time, we cannot continue to accept the status quo. The City promised to end its reliance on both cluster sites and hotels – and we are no doubt trending in the wrong direction. The city is not moving the needle on this extraordinary problem, and that’s why we continue to speak out.”

A mayoral spokeswoman says the city is working to contain costs.

With additional reporting by the Associated Press