Hotel space for affordable housing is now the law



Legislation that will create more flexible rules for converting underutilized hotel space into permanent housing was signed into law recently by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“As New York’s housing crisis continues to impact families, we’re taking bold action, embracing innovative ideas and thinking outside the box to help ensure that New Yorkers can access safe, livable, and quality affordable housing,” Hochul said, in a release.

Mayor Eric Adams says he hopes this new law will become a trend for affordable housing in the city.

“Today, we are saying yes to more of the affordable and supportive housing that New Yorkers need and deserve,” Adams said, in a release. “This law cuts red tape and removes outdated rules so we can take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

The new law authorizes Class B hotels — those that contain units subject to rent stabilization — that are located in or within 400 feet of districts that permit residential use, could operate as permanent residential spaces.

The new law further allows such hotels to provide permanent housing if they enter into an agreement with the city, or if they receive state financing through the Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act.

In her State of the State address, Hochul announced a $25 billion, five-year housing plan that would create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes in urban and rural areas across New York. As part of that announcement, the governor proposed easing hotel conversions to create more affordable housing. Hochul also secured an additional $100 million in funding to convert vacant commercial properties and distressed hotel properties across the state.

President of the New York Hotel Trades Council Rich Maroko said, “Thanks to Governor Hochul, the state legislature, and the leadership of Mayor Adams we now have a smart, thoughtful program that can protect quality hotels that are key to the recovery of our tourism industry while converting failing hotel properties - that pay poverty wages and are a blight on neighborhoods - into much needed housing stock.”