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As pressure to accommodate asylum seekers increases, NYC converts hotels into shelters

By 05/14/2023 5:50 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


Midtown Manhattan’s iconic Roosevelt Hotel, which closed three years ago, will soon be busy once more when it reopens to accommodate an expected flood of asylum seekers as other New York City hotels are transformed into emergency shelters.

The Roosevelt Hotel will eventually house up to 1,000 rooms for migrants who are anticipated to arrive in the coming weeks as a result of the expiration of Title 42 regulations from the pandemic era, which allowed federal officials to turn away asylum seekers from the U.S. border with Mexico.

This was announced on Saturday by Mayor Eric Adams.

Hotels throughout the city, many of which are in prestigious locations, are being converted into emergency shelters after serving tourists only a few years ago.

Adams claims that despite this, the city is running out of space for immigrants and has asked the state and federal governments for financial assistance.

“To manage this national crisis,” the mayor stated in a statement announcing the Roosevelt decision, “New York City has now cared for more than 65,000 asylum seekers — already opening up over 140 emergency shelters and eight large-scale humanitarian relief centers in addition to this one.”

In 1948, New York Governor Thomas Dewey is alleged to have announced incorrectly from the Roosevelt that he had defeated Harry Truman for president from the storied hotel next to Grand Central Terminal.

The city is turning to unused hotels for those in need of shelter as it comes under increasing pressure to expand its system.
The hotel’s owner’s attorneys, Tarter Krinsky & Drogin’s Scott Markowitz, claimed that reopening as a city-sponsored refuge made financial sense.

According to Markowitz, “they rent out every room at the hotel at a certain price every night,” adding that it is generating “substantially more revenue” than regular operations would have.

When there were no shelters or other options, the city frequently used hotels to house homeless New Yorkers.

Group shelters during the epidemic made it challenging to adhere to social distance laws, therefore the city rented out hundreds of hotel rooms as fictitious COVID wards.

The city’s dependence on hotels decreased as the pandemic abated. Thousands of migrants started coming by bus last year, which caused that to shift.

Previously praised for its rooftop pool and its proximity to Central Park, the Watson Hotel on West 57th Street is now home to migrant families.

The city’s Department of Social Services issued a statement saying, “It is our moral and legal obligation to provide shelter to anyone who needs it.”

As a result, we have used all of the tools at our disposal and will continue to do so to meet the requirements of every family and individual who seeks shelter from us. The city was struggling with rising homelessness, overcrowded shelters, and a lack of affordable housing before the influx in asylum seekers.

Hundreds more migrants would be placed in motels in the suburbs of Orange and Rockland counties, according to a New York announcement.


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