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New bill would require hotel owners to notify paying guests if homeless are being sheltered on premises

Quality Inn

Aug. 11, 2017 By Jason Cohen

With many hotels in Queens being used as homeless shelters, one lawmaker has introduced legislation that would require hotel owners to notify their guests if the homeless are also staying on site.

Councilman Eric Ulrich (R- Howard Beach) introduced a bill (Intro. 1682) Wednesday that would mandate hotel owners to post signage notifying paying guests if they are sheltering the homeless. The hotels would also have to disclose it on marketing and advertising material.

Homeless people have found shelter in numerous hotels in the borough, including the Holiday Inn Express in Corona, located at 113-10 Horace Harding Expressway, and The Quality Inn, located 53-05 Queens Boulevard in Woodside.

The City’s decision to use hotels to shelter the homeless has always been controversial. However, when the Department of Homeless Services started placing the homeless in hotels without providing the community notice, the issue became red hot.

The City’s shelter population is approaching 60,000, a record high.

The Department of Homeless Services (DHS) adamantly opposes Ulrich’s legislation.

The DHS claims that Ulrich’s bill, if it were to become law, would deter hotel owners from offering space for the homeless, preventing [the city] from meeting its court ordered obligation to provide shelter to New Yorkers. It claims it would lead to an increase in homelessness.

Some commercial hotels are currently being used “as a bridge to shelter homeless New Yorkers who would otherwise be turned out into the streets,” according to the agency.

The DHS also argues that all New Yorkers—no matter whether they are homeless or not– have the right to privacy and no one should have their personal information shared publicly.

“Any disclosure of confidential client information, including addresses where homeless New Yorkers may be sheltered, is a violation of Social Services Law that could put our clients at risk, including domestic violence survivors, as they work to stabilize their lives,” according to Isaac McGinn, a spokesman for DHS. “While we are reviewing the legislation, we have significant concerns about the impact it could have on our homeless neighbors.

The bill has been referred to the City Council’s General Welfare Committee for further examination.

In February, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to phase out the use of 360 hotel shelters and cluster apartment sites by building 90 permanent homeless shelters and expanding 30.

Channel 11 report

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Click for Comments 

I just paid full price for a hotel room in NJ and I suspected they were housing homeless families. Nothing was disclosed to me and I don’t think this is fair for me to pay full price

Mike P.

I don’t like to stay in the same building as women. Especially when my wife isn’t with me.

Motels should alert customers —- especially, man customers, when there are women in the building. It’s the right thing to do.

The favorite

I’m a semi-germaphobe when I stay in a REGULAR hotel! I just couldn’t…seen way too many homeless feet in this city.

Oil Beef Hooked

You know who was homeless and needed shelter for a night??? Jesus H. Christ’s mommy — Mother Mary Christ, and her husband Joseph.

Now all these mean people in the comments are saying “No!” and claiming they are too good to be in the company of those who have fell on hard times. Casting judgment on their fellow citizens — so sad!

Doug Hurt

Mary & Joseph basically stayed in a barn with no paying customers. House the homeless in a barn? Fine by me. Oil Beef Hooked, pit a sign up in your front yard welcoming homeless into your house. Jesus would probably love that.

May no one ever be homeless

And if you suddenly faced hard times and assumed friends/ relatives would automatically help out- it may not happen.Even those who end up staying on orhers’ couches,technically are.homeless til they get on their.feet. They are not all bums,as many people think.

Nobody cares

Why don’t they build the homeless a building on that private park on 39th ave, nobody uses it . its dirty. Give it to the homeless.


And where would you go if you got there and you found out its a shelter.? What happens if there’s no other vacancies anywhere and your stuck there. Let’s face it, if it were unfortunate homeless it wouldn’t be so bad ,but this is all guys out of jail, drug addicts, prostitutes, prostidudes . not a good trip

Mr Hill

That’s tempus point. Why should he be stuck with lowlifes bothering him while he’s paying to stay???????????????????????

Doug Hurt

I would leave and take my money elsewhere. They lose enough money and they’ll either change their policy or go out of business. Then the homeless can squat in there and destroy it.

theresa hughes

as someone who has vacationed in new england recently i have had many unfortunate occasions to have unwittingly knowing that i was in fact checking in to a hotel that also housed the homeless believe me it is just a horrible feeling you can see the building falls into disrepare and not kept up they take the pools away these places are suppose to be comfortable lodging for paying guests while they vacation im sorry these people are homeless but they need to do something else with them i agree whole heartedly with this bill i definately would like to know in the future that there are no homeless people staying there it also poses a danger to paying guest as lets be honest most homeless people are not wrapped too tight and alot are alcoholics and drug abusers and thats not something i choose to be around and i shouldnt have to feel like im the one in the wrong when all i want to do is check into a motel while im on vacation and feel safe


Only thing good about it is if you want to get high or get a honey. Then we got you covered at the hotel. In house service. Very convenient. Just buy some of that shampoo to get rid of the crabs and you set B!

No way

Imagine you just came here from another country and you end up in this mess? No way!! Ass smelling hotel, makes America look bad. No way!!

Sunnyside resident

This is awful. We should not be treating anyone like second-class citizens. It’s not American.


Shocking that hotels dont do that and its taking legislation to implement. visiting families are exposed to homeless with criminal records staying in the same building.

Sunnyside resident

Yes I agree, if I am paying for a hotel I would want to know if homeless are staying there too, it’s not fair! This is a great bill to pass


So now, if I have it right, I call a hotel, and book a room, and I’m to ask, “Is this hotel also a homeless shelter? Me my wife and my 3 teenage daughters need a room but we don’t want to be near the homeless section. The sex offenders section either if possible”. Yes I’ll hold– homeless and someone going on vacation don’t belong being booked together. If the hotel is a shelter it should be against the law to book to the public.

kilgore trout

Landlord is right!

When I go on vacation (Cabo Wabbo), the motel send me a fax with all other residents as well as their credit history. Smart thing to do, just ask.

Also, my other landlord pals and I never fly (pilots = devil worshippers) — we ride the bus with Billy Bush. He laughs at the stories we tell.

disclose so we knows

This is a great idea. It protects hotel guests and the community…it’s not fair for someone to book into a hotel and find out-or not find out-that it’s a makeshift shelter. Hotel owners can’t have it both ways, and this would ensure they don’t.

kilgore trout

sounds unfair that people pay good money and then arrive and its actually a homeless shelter. Its not like they just blend in.


Maybe it protects the homeless from you. It is their home after all. You people are staying in their home.


New bill should require hotel owners to notify paying guests if homeless are being sheltered on premises and at least offer them a DISCOUNT OR FREE ROOMS for staying there.


Oh you wouldn’t mind staying with the homeless if you got a discount? All about getting a break, aren’t we?


this should have been done a long time ago — JVB knew there were homeless people in this hotel since May of 2016 and he did absolutely nothing about it — he has told people that they should not protest there either — you also have paying guests there too — there are many many problems at this hotel and everyone knows about it including JVB and the police department – this neighborhood is getting worse and worse –

Joe at Berkley

JVB is correct. Protest the owner of the hotels residence like we did back in the 80’s and with the Maspeth hotel. It’s much more effective.


Just remember that he said that when he does something worth protesting. Go to jvb’s house and protest right in front. He says it’s ok, right?


This article was in the “Queens Chronicle”

Posted: Thursday, September 1, 2016 10:30 am
by Ryan Brady, Associate Editor | 0 comments
The Quality Inn at 53-05 Queens Blvd. in Woodside is now being used to house the homeless, as are two hotels in Bellerose and Floral Park. And Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) is not pleased about the de Blasio administration’s not notifying his community about its decision, just as it didn’t when it moved them into the Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst. And he’s not alone.
“While I will never protest the women and children seeking shelter at the Quality Inn, I am extremely upset that the administration converted this hotel into a temporary shelter without notifying anyone in the community,” Van Bramer said in a prepared statement. “In situations like this, the best policy is transparency — not trying to sneak changes past local communities.”
The owner of the hotel could not be reached for comment. According to a Van Bramer spokeswoman, not all of the Quality Inn location’s rooms are being used for homeless people. The majority leader’s office has also received complaints about the hotel’s new usage. But not all object to the move.
“They need a place to live,” Community Board 2 member Regina Shanley told the Chronicle, speaking on her own behalf. “There have to be shelters and they have to be clean and they have to be decent.”
Community Board 13 member Richard Hellenbrecht heard that the Bellerose Inn at 249-5 Jericho Turnpike and the Quality Inn at 256-15 Jericho Turnpike in Floral Park are being used to house the homeless. Though he is less certain about the latter, Hellenbrecht says he has “been getting complaints left and right” about the former.
“Trucks with food have been seen delivering prepared food to the back entrance to the building,” he said.
Employees at both hotels denied that the homeless are living in their rooms. However, a Department of Homeless Services spokeswoman told the Chronicle that rooms at the Woodside, Bellerose and Floral Park hotels are being rented “to help meet its legal obligation to provide shelter to homeless New Yorkers who would otherwise be sleeping on the street.” Homeless families with children are staying at the hotels. Although some rooms are being rented, the spokeswoman said that there are no plans to make any of the hotels shelters and that the DHS provides 24/7 on-site social services and security to families staying at them. She did not respond prior to deadline when asked about how long they have been staying at any of the hotels,
The office of state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has received multiple complaints inquiring about how the city determines which homeless people go to the Bellerose Inn and if the city has a screening process for whom it places there. A DHS spokeswoman did not respond prior to deadline when asked about the screening process.
“It’s clear the mayor is looking to find every single hotel he can, especially in Queens but I think throughout the entire city, to put homeless individuals and families in,” Avella said. “A lot of residential neighborhoods are very upset about this.”
Residents of Maspeth have expressed vehement opposition to the city’s plan to convert another hotel in the neighborhood into a shelter.
Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens) has heard about the city using the Bellerose and Floral Park hotels to house the homeless from his constituents.
“The issue will come up when I speak at a civic association there,” Grodenchik said, adding that he would have preferred that the city notify the community prior to using the hotels to rent rooms for the homeless. “We always prefer and it’s always better if we get communication before the fact rather than after the fact.”


The ssp should only allow post of 250, maybe 300. It’s a post people, not an article. Some people just go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on…….do you get the point


the truth will set people free when a true article goes up and nobody should be calling anyone a “LIAR” when it is in black and white —

Bruno Mars

@? anonymous- Yes vote him out so we could get someone who will pass some more mean spirited laws like laws that take healthcare from people, laws that take lunch away from kids and laws that suppress wages.


So then stop crying and vote for jvb. People complain ,then they don’t vote. Vote for him, vote against him, just vote. Or shut up!


i mean its not like you cant notice the homeless and its not like i cant just call amex and reverse the charges. it’s their business, so they can do whatever they want…at the cost of really bad online publicity and negative corporate image of tricking customers.


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