20% Of New York City Hotels Are Now Migrant Shelters

Amidst NYC hotel room shortages, 20% are migrant shelters. Mayor Eric Adams’ policies raise rates, enforcing short-term rental laws, as the city faces $10 billion in migrant crisis costs.

20% Of New York City Hotels Are Now Migrant Shelters 1

There has never been a more expensive hotel in New York City. Unauthorized immigration is one of the causes. Graft in mayoralty is another.

The New York Times examines the current high cost of hotel rooms in New York City.

In late 2022, as thousands of migrants began to arrive in New York City, city officials scrambled to find places to house them. They quickly found takers: hotels that were still struggling to recover from the pandemic-driven downturn in tourism.

Dozens of hotels, from once-grand facilities to more modest establishments, closed to tourists and began exclusively sheltering migrants, striking multimillion-dollar deals with the city. The humanitarian crisis became the hotel industry’s unexpected lifeline in New York; the hotels became a safe haven for tens of thousands of asylum seekers.

The average daily rate for a hotel stay in New York City increased to $301.61 in 2023, up 8.5 percent from $277.92 in 2022, according to CoStar, a leading provider of commercial real estate data and analysis. During the first three months of 2024, when prices traditionally dip, the average stay was still 6.7 percent higher than during the same time period last year: $230.79 a night, up from $216.38 in 2023.

The use of city hotels for migrants represents a loss of 16,532 hotel rooms, leaving 121,677 hotel rooms for travelers, according to data compiled by CoStar, a leading provider of commercial real estate data and analysis.

That’s 2,812 fewer hotel rooms than existed in the period just before the pandemic — a shortage that is being acutely felt.

About 65,000 migrants are being sheltered in hotels, tent dormitories and other shelters, in large part because of the city’s legal obligation to provide a bed to anyone who needs one. The city projects it will spend $10 billion over three fiscal years on the migrant crisis.

Other factors, including some driven by policies that Mayor Eric Adams and his predecessor, Bill de Blasio, supported, have also contributed to higher room rates.

In September, city officials began to enforce a new law meant to curb the proliferation of short-term rentals, such as those listed on Airbnb, which used to account for over 10 percent of all tourist accommodations in the city. The crackdown obliterated most short-term Airbnb listings — a phenomenon that some observers said might have had an even larger impact on hotel rates than the migrant crisis.

The number of Airbnb listings in New York City for short stays — under 30 days — plummeted by 83 percent to just 3,705 apartments in March 2024, down from 22,247 listings in August 2023, the month before the law went into effect, according to AirDNA, an unaffiliated company that collects data from short-term rental listings. Most of the remaining Airbnb listings in the city, about 90 percent, are only available for stays of over 30 days.

The law, Local Law 18, was aggressively backed by the hotel industry and the hotel workers union, both supporters of Mayor Adams.

Three Things

  • Uncontrolled immigration
  • An alleged right to shelter
  • A corrupt mayor purposely removes listings to benefit a favored political group.

The city will have to pay billions of dollars. The expense is borne by the taxpayers.

Where Do We Put 8 Million Illegal Immigrants?

On May 23, the question “Where Do We Put 8 Million Illegal Immigrants?” was posed after noticing Competing Forces on Rent.

Millions of immigrants keep pouring in. New residential construction has stalled and multi-family construction is in decline. Completions are rising, but is that enough housing?

Now at least we have a partial solution.

Last year, GreatGameIndia reported that Bloomberg reported NYC Mayor Eric Adams plans to cut services for New Yorkers so that migrants can stay in hotels free of charge.

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