NYC hotels are set to take in over $1 billion in taxpayer funds to support migrants: Report

The New York Post reported that hotels across New York City are set to take in over a billion dollars in taxpayer funds for converting their buildings into migrant havens. There are 193 migrant shelters currently in use across the city, and 153 of them—or, around 80%—are motels, hotels, or inns.

On average, the city is paying $156 per hotel room for migrants to stay in, according to a May analysis revealed by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. However, some have suggested that these locations are bringing in more than $300 per night per room since migrants first began flooding into the city in the spring of 2022.

‘These locations were meant to boost the economy of this city, but instead they’ve become a net drain and are costing us enormously.’

This has not only driven up the prices of hotel rooms for tourists, but it has also turned the Airbnb market on its head.

The report noted that through May 31, the city has spent approximately $4.88 billion on the migrant crisis, $1.98 billion of which has exclusively been spent in supporting migrant housing. This spending includes hotels and motels, as well as tent cities at Randall’s Island and Floyd Bennett Field.

William Shandler, who is a manager at Iron Bar, said he and other businesses throughout the city have been getting squeezed from both sides. The city has converted many of the luxury hotels, which previously hosted customers, into migrant havens that do not help businesses stay afloat.

“Our taxes are being used to pay for the migrants, and where are we supposed to make revenue?” Shandler said. “How as a business could we function?”

CoStar reported in November 2023 that hotels throughout the city have taken up to 16,000 rooms off the market to host migrants. Additionally, the migrant crisis in the city appears to be negatively affecting the hotel business itself.

CoStar mentioned:

With more than 16,000 rooms taken off-line, curtailed short-term rental inventory and a decreasing pipeline count, the New York City hotel inventory is changing materially. There could be an impact on room rate growth going forward as operators adjust to the new reality of fewer competitors.

Councilwoman Joann Ariola stated that hotels are built for tourism, “not for sheltering the masses of people pouring over our borders every day,” per the Post.

“These locations were meant to boost the economy of this city, but instead they’ve become a net drain and are costing us enormously,” she added.

Despite some who have claimed that letting in migrants is a good thing for the city, it appears many New Yorkers are unsettled by the development, and it is unclear what the city is doing to address this unrest.

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