NEW YORK (NewsNation) — Mayor Eric Adams has agreed to a $275 million contract with the Hotel Association of New York City to house at least 5,000 migrants for the next six months.
The agreement is between the New York City Department of Homeless Services and the Hotel Association for as much as $55,000 per migrant, according to The New York Post, which first reported the deal.
Hotels, including the Row NYC Hotel on 8th Avenue, will become home to hundreds of migrants; the four-star hotel which usually charges $500 a night is now one of many considered an emergency shelter for migrants.
The hotel association represents about 300 hotels with a combined 80,000 rooms in NYC. The group said hotel owners can determine on their own if they would like to work with the city, so at the moment, it’s unclear how many hotels will be worked into the deal.
However, Hotel Association President Vijay Dandapani said Friday that up to 55 mostly smaller hotels will house the migrants, the New York Post reported. He said “entire hotels” will be set aside for migrants, while adding that the number of hotels and rooms set aside was yet to be determined.
NYC officials have not officially released details about the hotel deal, but funding for the contract is listed in Mayor Adams’ recently released proposed budget for the city.
Since last spring, New York City has welcomed more than 40,000 migrants, and the city is caring for almost 27,000 of them, according to city officials.
In addition, the city entered into a separate $9.88 million contract with Community Mediation Services Inc. to provide a “sanctuary facility” for migrant families at 599 Utica Ave. in Brooklyn.
Many of the migrants have arrived in the city from the southern border of Texas.
During a visit to the Texas border city of El Paso, Adams got an up-close look at the crisis and criticized the federal government’s response to the influx of immigrants into U.S. cities.
He said Sunday that cities immigrants are flowing to need help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Adams has declared a state of emergency, saying the influx of immigrants has created a humanitarian crisis and he’s asking the federal government for $2 billion in emergency funding.
“FEMA deals with national crisis. FEMA must step up and there should be one coordinator to coordinate everything that is happening dealing with migrants and asylum seekers in our country,” Adams said.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden also visited El Paso.
Adams has said the migrant crisis is a national problem, so it should be handled mostly at the federal level.
A $275 million contract is a very big one, but Adams’ predecessor inked a $750 million deal with the Hotel Association of New York during the pandemic to put homeless people in hotels across the city.
Meanwhile, hotel employees at the Row NYC Hotel claim migrants are wasting food and throwing it away, which has upset people claiming they’re wasting taxpayer money.
Migrants claim the food they are given is sometimes raw, rotten, undercooked and smells so bad they don’t want to eat it because it makes people sick.
However, Adams said that’s not true, and it’s a matter of preference. He said the migrants don’t always like what they’re served, but none are given raw or expired food.