New York’s Department of Homeless Services is paying nearly twice the going room rate for a night at the Waldorf Astoria to house the homeless in Times Square hotels.
The city is paying more than $600 a night to ensure that some of its homeless are taken off the streets, for a total nightly cost of about $400,000, according to a report released by city Comptroller Scott Stringer Wednesday.
The report comes after two young sisters died in “cluster housing” in the Bronx from burns caused by a burst radiator valve in their apartment. Cluster housing combines housing for homeless and non-homeless families.
In November 2015, DHS placed 324 homeless families in city hotel rooms. By October, that number had leapt to 2,069, investigators said, adding that average hotel bills rose from $163 to $194.
Stringer revealed that the city has booked 425,000 hotel rooms since last November, at a cost of more than $72.9 million. He urged the city to find “a comprehensive, transparent road map to solve this extraordinary crisis.”
As comptroller, Stringer has been a vocal critic of Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration, and appears to be positioning himself for a mayoral run in 2017.