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State legislators to introduce bill requiring hotel owners to notify paying guests if homeless are being sheltered on premises

August 21, By Jason Cohen

Two state legislators representing Queens districts plan to introduce a bill that would require hotel owners to notify paying guests if they are sheltering the homeless—-mirroring a controversial city council bill introduced by Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Howard Beach) earlier this month.

State Senator Joe Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) and Assemblyman Mike Miller (D- Woodhaven) announced that they are bringing their own version of Ulrich’s bill to Albany that would mandate hotel owners to post signs indicating to paying customers that they have homeless people staying in their establishment. It would also have to be included in marketing and sales literature.

The city has found shelter for homeless people in several hotels in the borough in the past few years, including the Holiday Inn Express in Corona, The Quality Inn in Woodside, and the Westway Motel  in East Elmhurst.

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.

Miller said he hopes that this legislation will increase transparency for both hotel guests and the community.

“Paying customers have the right to know what an establishment they intend to lodge at is doing,” Miller said. “We have an obligation to be transparent about where homeless families and individuals are being housed. This bill will go a long way to make sure that the tourism and hotel industry in the state of New York is giving accurate information to prospective customers.”

Meanwhile, Addabbo insisted that the bill was not written to cause suffering for the homeless.

“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,” Addabbo added.

The Department of Homeless Services (DHS) opposes this legislation much like it does Ulrich’s bill.

The DHS claims that these bills, if they were to become law, would deter hotel owners from offering space for the homeless, which would prevent the city from meeting its court ordered obligation to provide shelter to New Yorkers. It claims it would lead to an increase in homelessness. The City’s shelter population already at a record high of about 60,000

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.

“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.

email the author: news@queenspost.com

33 Comments

Fan of doughboy park

All these christians in Sunnyside who hate the homeless. Not nice.

What about the mommy of Jesus Christ — Mary Christ.

They wouldn’t let her stay at the hotel neither. Hypocrites.




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ellen

These law makers are just trying to secure some votes from ignorant landlords in there area. Most of the public does not care. This is NYC where the majority of us are struggling to pay for housing food and bills. If they were so concerned then why not introduce legislature that will decrease the monthly cap on all these rooms without kitchens or bedrooms. Where were they when these places started opening up? I guess its easier to try and punish a private business than city hall and work on some affordable housing for the area.




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dey

I do not care if the Kardashians spent a night or a month in one of these locations. No business should be forced to publish it.




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tina

These homeless shelters are not a secret. They have been made very public by the mayors office and the media. The local community didn’t care enough to do anything about it when they first opened like the people of Maspeth. Paying guests usually google a location before booking a room especially if they are from out of town. It is what it is..let them be before they kick them to the streets and they end up on our front doorsteps.




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john

Our commonalities become striking when we knock down the false boundaries we have thrown up around our love.




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lesley

Next people will want landlords to disclose to the public if tenants are paying rent with NYC rent vouchers or got in through any homeless programs. We should all be ashamed if this passes above. All it will do is make these shelters permanent with little hope of them one day opening back up to the paying public. We need to stop treating the homeless like they are criminals. It is a hotel not a prison! What effect will this have on hotels? They will just rent the whole place to the city and even get publicity from tourists for helping the homeless to fill up their other paying guests locations. I do not see any good coming from this but separating or segregating people even further.




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mjk

That fact that people want to label places and areas from paying customers is ridiculous. Neighborhoods residents will suffer the most if this occurs. Hotels will just remain shelters to capacity. This will just create developers to simply create permanent hotel shelters for the city.




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Samir

The people in these shelters are all out of jail and lowlife druggie people. Not people who fell on bad times real bad knee go peeples




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julio

I do not understand why the city just doesn’t come up with hotel vouchers the same way they have SNAP for food shopping and Rent Vouchers to help cover rent. That way no person or place would be discriminated against and people would have the option of staying near their schools, jobs and family/friends.




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Anonymous

This seems like a disgusting attack on homeless people and business owners who haven’t caused any trouble. These same Republicans who want people to know what hotel owners are up to would be very upset if we regulated say restaurants, mandating that they tell us how much sodium and sugar they put in their dishes. So inconsistent! Shows a hatred of homeless people.




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Jalmos

I am proposing a counter-bill requiring all hotel owners to disclose whether or not they house nosy, self-important jerks on the premises.

We all have a right to know if our community is taking in people so delusionally self-righteous that they introduce bills to punish hotel owners for allowing in homeless people – including abused women and children.

Most importantly, we wouldn’t want to sully the good name of high-class establishments like the Quality Inn.




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websta

If this doesn’t pass, I hope the homeless residents have access to the internet so they can review these places and share their stories on sites like yelp.




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Anonymous

they do wifi is all over queens boulevard – i have seen them sitting on boxes and plugging their phones in especially near all the homeless shelters and non homeless shelters —




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rosita

They should also make them add big signs (depending on how long their lease is with the homeless program) in the front by their hotel/motel names that say “NYC homeless shelter.” That way the homeless know where to go and book a room.




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marybeth

So then they will just end up filling the empty rooms with more homeless people. Thank You!




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Anonymous

we the people find it strange that the sunnyside post is not putting up actually correct information that people are putting up —




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WOODSIDETIMES

Finally !! Iam sick of these homeless people roaming queens blvd breaking into cars,homes and trying to molest women please vote yes for this bill take it upstate and send this 1 term mayor out.di blasio take your homeless agenda and shove it.




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shirley

DeBlasio will be re elected. Hardly anyone outside a shelter neighborhood cares where the homeless are housed as long as they are off the streets. That’s why many community leaders and people refuse to get too involved (it doesn’t look good politically or socially). In today’s day and age, who would want their name or picture plastered on social media as being against housing the homeless, You can say what you want but the media and others label most negatively who protest. And the mayor is just trying to be fair, he has pleased a lot of voters (especially in other boroughs) by opening up more shelters in Queens. For every negative there is quadruple as many people that see his actions as positive.




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Anonymous

the mayor is not trying to be fair he is a fool put homeless shelters right by him on his block and see what happens — he does everything underhanded and so do all of the “Queens Counsel People” too —




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kyle

If you think they don’t study a location and the impact it may have regarding the Mayor, his office and public opinion then you are a fool. This is NYC not some small town. The only community they misjudged was Maspeth and that community managed to keep it away. The rest of the “NIMBY” people(voters) are perfectly happy with these locations.




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jessica

I think the area has improved and most local business owners are happy about the rise in sales. Homeless shelters do not increase crime or bring down property values.




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Jb

It has to bring down sales. People think twice before going to certain stores if they are in certain areas, right? So who wants to go shopping where they have to worry about the homeless. With maybe their cars, their money, wallets, etc. It changes the whole environment.
Now sure, maybe thier online sales haven’t gone down, but everyone knows if you go into a store, you are sure to buy more than you were planning to . Online, not the same case.




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El loco

Hey: Did anyone in Sunnyside catch the eclipse. I’m sure a lot of people didn’t have the proper glasses.




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Anonymous

you forgot to note in your article that the “LaQuinta” Hotel houses homeless people and regular paying customers too located at 37-18 Queens Boulevard –




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