From The Real Deal:
Internet travel sites have enabled an explosion of illegal hotels in the city, which activists say diminishes the city's supply of affordable housing and erodes the quality of life for neighboring residents. The Westside Neighborhood Alliance has a database of 297 hotels it suspects are illegal -- mainly rent-stabilized or single room occupancy apartments in Manhattan that the group claims are poorly maintained, crammed with hostel-style bunk beds and rented to hard-partying tourists.
The Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement has cracked down on some of these hostels recently, primarily because of safety and over-crowding concerns since they present a fire hazard.
Assemblyman Richard Gottfried introduced one of the four bills yesterday that would authorize the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development to shut down these hotels from an affordable housing standpoint, rather than the agency currently charged with enforcing these violations, the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal. "HPD just has a much larger enforcement budget and more man power," said Michael Kaplan, Gottfried's deputy chief of staff. "The city, as far as I can tell, has not been very supportive of the idea," he added, so HPD would have to voluntarily take on this role.
The Bloomberg Administration is strongly backing another state bill, set to be introduced within the next month, which would make renting apartments such as those in Class A buildings -- ones that have more than seven units and are granted a residential certificate of occupancy -- for less than 30 days clearly illegal, regardless of whether they are owned or leased.
Assemblyman Micah Kellner plans to introduce a bill Monday that would make it illegal for landlords to warehouse rental apartments before the attorney general approves plans to convert the building into a condominium or co-op, said his chief of staff Eliyanna Kaiser.
And Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal introduced a bill Wednesday that would make it illegal for a corporation or non-profit to lease, and then sub-lease, rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartments to anyone who isn't involved in the day-to-day operations of the entity.