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Queens Chronicle

Addabbo, Miller to introduce hotel shelter notification bills

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Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 1:59 pm

State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) will follow in the footsteps of one of their colleagues in government and introduce a bill requiring hotels to notify potential guests if any homeless people are staying there.

The bills will be introduced in their respective chambers when Albany's session begins in January, and mirrors a City Council bill proposed by Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) Aug. 9.

"Paying customers have the right to know what an establishment they intend to lodge at is doing," Miller said in a statement. "We have an obligation to be transparent about where homeless families and individuals are being housed."

The use of hotels to house the undomiciled has been a hot-button issue in recent years, with many in Queens being utilized and paid for with taxpayers dollars as the number of homeless people in the five boroughs has increased significantly.

At press time, the number of homeless people staying in city shelters was 58,975, according to the Department of Homeless Services.

The de Blasio administration unveiled a plan in March to phase out the use of 360 hotel shelters and cluster apartment sites by building 90 new shelters and expanding 30 others by 2023.

“This legislation is not in any way intended to hurt homeless individuals and families living in hotels in Queens or throughout the five boroughs, but it is an effort to ensure that the City hears loud and clear that this type of housing to address the homeless crisis is not working and is almost always completely inappropriate for those in need,” said Addabbo.

Ulrich applauded the state legislators.

"The public has a right to know whether or not a hotel is also being used as a temporary homeless shelter,” he said in a statement.

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