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NYC to pay over $1 billion in hotel costs for migrants

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is pictured in Brooklyn on May 22, 2023. (Theodore Parisienne/New York Daily News/TNS)
September 26, 2023

New York City is bracing for the impact of the continuing illegal immigrant crisis, with an extended contract deal with local hotels to house migrants over the next three years at a significant cost of over $1 billion.

According to The New York Post, the revised contract, with a value of approximately $1.365 billion, is set to cover the rental charges for over 100 hotels repurposed into emergency shelters for migrants over the next three years. The new cost is about five times the cost of the city’s original hotel contract for housing migrants.

The $1.365 billion contract also does not cover expenses associated with city facilities or other sites accommodating the steady influx of homeless illegal immigrants in New York City.

The city’s move is under scrutiny, with claims of fiscal recklessness being voiced from both Republicans and Democrats, raising questions about the best path forward for New York City.

Nicole Gelinas, Senior Fellow at The Manhattan Institute, expressed concerns over the long-term extension, suggesting it might give an impression of a lack of intent to decrease the migrant populace.

“The city created one big monopoly,” Gelinas argued, pointing out the absence of competitive bids, which might have resulted in cost savings.

Democrat Queens Councilman Robert Holden stated, “The migrant crisis has evolved into a financial boondoggle, with quietly extended contracts fattening the pockets of a few at the taxpayer’s expense. It’s time to halt this fiscal recklessness.”

Holden also called into question NYC’s “Right to Shelter” law, which ensures shelter to the homeless, including self-described asylum seekers. The Democrat councilman warned that the “Right to Shelter” law should not be “misconstrued as a global entitlement.”

READ MORE: Video: NYC protestors block migrant bus, shout ‘You’re not welcome’

However, the city’s Department of Social Services/Homeless Services has defended its stance on the migrant crisis. A spokeswoman told The New York Post that the extended contract provides the necessary capacity but retains the flexibility to adjust the contract based on the evolving needs of the city.

At a recent City Council hearing, Mayor Eric Adams’s administration was questioned regarding the jump from the current 2023 allocation of $237 million to the projected $1.365 billion through August of 2026.

DSS Commissioner Molly Wassow Park clarified, “We want to do it one time instead of year-by-year, so we have some predictability. It helps manage our contract workload, and there are cancellation clauses.”

The New York Post noted that Adams has had a close association with the hotel industry, especially since the Hotel Trades Council endorsed him during his 2021 campaign for mayor.

Meanwhile, NYC Hotel Association CEO Vijay Dandapani noted the unforeseen scale of the humanitarian crisis and applauded the hotel industry’s capability to manage the situation.

Dandapani also highlighted the financial relief the illegal immigrant crisis has provided to some hotels that faced hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic, explaining, “It’s helpful for the hotels that are doing it. Every hotel that is taking in migrants is doing so voluntarily.”

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.