NYC could spend $300M annually to house migrants in hotels: analysis

The Big Apple could be on the hook for more than $300 million per year to provide shelter space in hotels for newly arrived migrants, a Post analysis shows.

City officials have either rented or announced plans to secure roughly 5,800 hotel rooms over the last month in response to the influx from the southern border, which quickly overwhelmed the already-strained homeless shelter system.

One of the largest operations is planned for the ROW NYC hotel on 8th Avenue in Midtown, where officials are looking to rent as many as 600 rooms and provide intake and other services for the recent arrivals.

According to an analysis, it could cost New York City $300 million per year to provide shelter for newly arrived migrants in hotels.
REUTERS/David ‘Dee’ Delgado
City officials are planning to rent about 600 rooms for migrants.
City officials are planning to rent about 600 rooms for migrants.
Matthew McDermott

Officials said Monday they were evaluating four proposals to run the site.

Records show the ROW was previously used by city officials to provide shelter as part of a $139 million contract the Department of Homeless Services inked in January 2021, in which City Hall shelled out an average of $147.67 per day in rent.

Assuming that DHS has secured a similar rate this time around, providing the 5,800 hotel rooms could add an unexpected $312.6 million in new spending to the city budget — and that’s before tallying other costs, like providing food and medical care.

“Providing these services will clearly be a significant cost that will require city officials to either shift funding from other programs or identify savings,” said Ana Champeny, the top researcher at the Citizens Budget Commission.

A group of migrants from Texas arriving at the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan on August 17, 2022.
A group of migrants from Texas arriving at the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan on August 17, 2022.
REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

Officials estimated Monday that more than 6,000 migrants from the southern border have arrived in New York City since the surge began in May — and said the number had jumped by as many as 2,000 in just the last few weeks.

The estimated number of migrants in the Big Apple only covers those who’ve entered the city’s shelter system — with city officials warning the number could be “higher.”

“We have a legal and moral obligation to welcome families seeking asylum,” said Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn), who chairs the budget committee. “The city doesn’t have to foot the bill for Ghoul Abbott’s political theater.”

Brannan added that the city would likely be able to receive substantial support for the costs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s ‘Emergency Shelter & Food Program’ fund.

The Post’s analysis comes as City Hall has repeatedly refused to provide a projection for how much it may cost to house and provide services to the recent arrivals.

Hizzoner has publicly asked for aid from federal authorities, but City Hall has yet to provide details about the Big Apple’s request for assistance.

City Hall declined to comment on the Post’s cost analysis.

The new expense comes as Mayor Eric Adams and the City Council continue to duke it out over cuts of $1 billion to the Department of Education, which were contained in the $101 billion municipal budget that passed — with little controversy at the time — in June.

Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan

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