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1 In 5 NYC Hotels Is Now An Illegal Migrant Shelter, Driving Up Prices

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Summer tourists in New York City face unprecedented lodging costs as hotels throughout the city are being repurposed as migrant housing.

The average price for a hotel room in the city, based on 2023 data, is a record-breaking $301 per night, an 8.5 percent increase from 2022 costs. This rise in prices is largely due to the city’s gross overcommitment to providing shelter for the influx of illegal migrants flooding the city.

A recent change to Gotham’s “right to shelter” rule allows adult illegal migrants under the age of 23 to stay up to 60 days in city-run shelters. Originally, migrants were granted 30 days of government-subsidized housing with the ability to reapply for an extended stay.

The city pays hotels to host thousands of migrants, which creates a lodging shortage and exorbitant prices for visitors. Skyrocketing hotel costs are a direct result of this government-created scarcity — with fewer hotel rooms to go around, costs inevitably increase, especially during the summer tourism boom. And of course, hotels have been quick to gobble up the city’s migrant-housing subsidy money over the past couple of years, after the government’s Covid lockdowns minimized travel and dried up their stream of income. Now NYC tourism is back in full force — but hotel availability is not.

“New York City has led the nation in responding to a national humanitarian crisis, providing shelter and care to approximately 183,000 new arrivals since the spring of 2022, but we have been clear, from day one, that the ‘Right to Shelter’ was never intended to apply to a population larger than most U.S. cities descending on the five boroughs in less than two years,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

NYC’s Department of Homeless Services sent out a memo in October 2022 “seeking appropriately qualified vendor(s) to identify and operate units for the City Sanctuary Facilities (‘Facilities’) programs that will be used to house asylum seeking families and individuals in New York City.”

As of November, more than 16,000 hotel rooms are reportedly being used to house migrants and other homeless people. That’s 140 hotels off the market for travelers. As CoStar reports, most of the hotels qualify as “midscale or economy,” meaning the types of hotels middle-class Americans might choose for their vacation to the Big Apple. Tourists are subsequently forced to choose more expensive lodging options, and with fewer hotels available, demand and thus prices are up across the board.

Sanctuary hotels also offer social freebies, according to the city’s Department of Homeless Services. Many hotels provide bilingual operational support services, including child care, job training, computer access, personal care items, and laundry service. Migrants can also receive trauma or mental health counseling.

In other words, illegal aliens are receiving “free” services at their “free” hotel shelters while many Americans struggle to make ends meet. The program feels reminiscent of socialist-style government projects, with American taxpayers forced to cough up their hard-earned dollars for the sake of unwelcome border crossers.

According to The New York Times, NYC signed a $980 million contract for its “Sanctuary Hotel Program” — “which runs until Aug. 31 and is likely to be renewed.”


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