The number of homeless housed in hotels by the city has soared 50 percent in just two months – from 3,990 in July to 6,000 this month, The Post has learned.
The surge comes despite a pledge by Mayor de Blasio in February to “utilize hotels less and less and, as quickly as possible, to stop using hotels,” following the murder of a homeless woman and her two kids in a Staten Island hotel.
There were 2,656 homeless people in hotels at the time, with an average room cost of $161 per night.
The growing crisis has led to protests in parts of Queens, where residents have railed against the administration for plunking down homeless hotels with little notice.
There were 59,928 homeless individuals staying in shelters and hotels as of Thursday.
Emails obtained by The Post reveal that the surge in hotel use was predicted by de Blasio lobbying pal James Capalino, who in early 2015 questioned why the administration had enacted a moratorium on new “transitional” apartments for the homeless.
On Jan. 15, 2015 Capalino emailed then-Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli to express concern that the Department of Homeless Services had been “told to suspend development of shelters/transitional residences,” even though he had clients ready to create them.
“Given that residences such as we are proposing are much more appropriate for housing families in transition than hotel rooms, etc., we believe that it makes sense for the city to create a pipeline of these projects (which will take 12-18 months to build) so that as they come on line, the less appropriate units that the city is now using can be ‘shed,’” Capalino wrote.
In response, Barrios-Paoli the moratorium. was temporary.
Neither Barrios-Paoli, who has left the administration, nor Capalino would comment on the exchange.