NYC Council bill to house homeless in hotels is put on hold

Department of Social Services Commissioner, Steven Banks
Department of Social Services Commissioner, Steven Banks

The City Council’s push to house more homeless people in hotel rooms has stalled over pushback from African-American lawmakers concerned the neighborhoods they represent would bear the brunt of the burden.
But the bill is not dead, according to Council sources, who said the body’s Black, Latino and Asian caucus is now formulating a list of demands that would be worked into a compromise.
Those members are “going to get a list over today or tomorrow,” one source said.
The initial Council bill would have required homeless people to be transferred from dorm-style shelters to single hotel rooms.

Steven Banks, Mayor de Blasio’s Homeless Services Commissioner, pushed back on that version, which led to a compromise that would have allowed homeless people to double up in a single room, according to two Council sources familiar with the matter.
But that version didn’t last long after homeless advocates vowed to oppose it.
The current bill would hew more closely to the original version, which would allow for one homeless person per hotel room.

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