NYC Mayor Eric Adams today led a coalition made up of city and state government leaders and union members urging Albany to unlock a critical tool to tackle New York City’s housing affordability and homelessness crisis.
This is in an effort to create new affordable and supportive housing for thousands of New Yorkers.
“We are facing a homelessness crisis and an affordable housing crisis, but, with the help of our partners in Albany, we can work to tackle them both with one tool,” said Mayor Adams. “By repurposing underused hotels, we can create supportive housing faster and cheaper. We can make affordable, permanent housing available to families, seniors, and any New Yorker in need, including our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Let’s get this done.”
Sponsored by New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh and New York State Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz, S.4937/A.6262 would ease the process by which underutilized and vacant hotels can become permanent housing.
With the right rules in place, hotel conversions could be a critical tool for creating the affordable and supportive housing the city needs — affordable apartments can be created for about two-thirds of the cost and in one-third of the time through conversions than through ground-up construction.
Passed in 2021, the Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act made $100 million available to help facilitate these conversions.
This effort follows a campaign proposal from Mayor Adams to reimagine vacant and underutilized hotels and repurpose them for permanent affordable and supportive housing.
It also follows the mayor’s recently announced executive budget, in which he committed $5 billion in new capital funding to create and preserve affordable housing, bringing the city’s total housing investment in the 10-year capital plan to $22 billion, the largest housing investment in the city’s history.
“We have to get creative when it comes to solving our housing shortage,” said New York City Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “Hotel conversion to housing is a simple but vital part of the housing solution. We can take these units, and permanently house New Yorkers. And I am proud that our friends in Albany are pushing a bill forward to do just that.”
“Our housing crisis and our homelessness crisis go hand in hand. That’s why I believe investing in hotel conversions to repurpose underused hotels to give our most vulnerable New Yorkers the opportunity to gain permanent housing,” said New York City Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary Jenkins. “I look forward to working with both the mayor and Albany to pass this very necessary legislation to help support our clients.”
“The city’s housing crisis demands creativity and new tools to build and preserve more affordable homes,” said New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Adolfo Carrión, Jr. “This legislation is a necessary first step to unlock the potential for more hotel conversions that can expand the supply of affordable and supportive housing.”
“Paring back cumbersome regulations and cutting through red tape is critical to our economic recovery and our ability to address pressing challenges like the housing affordability crisis,” said New York City Department of City Planning Director Dan Garodnick. “We need creative and bold solutions like this to meet the moment.”
“Good hotels create good jobs. They are responsible neighbors and elevate the reputation of the tourism industry by attracting more visitors,” said Rich Maroko, president of, the New York Hotel Trades Council. “But failing hotels provide only poverty-level jobs, bring crime to local communities, and tarnish the reputation of New York City’s tourism industry. Converting these hotels into much-needed housing is a smart and effective way to help the city protect the safety of our neighbors, support tourism recovery, and safeguard good jobs. I commend Mayor Adams for his leadership and look forward to working with the state bill sponsors and legislative leaders to get this done.”
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