They will face off in June in the Democratic primary, and despite both wanting to be the next mayor of the city, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Councilman Carlos Menchaca called on the city council to convert bankrupt or closed hotels outside of Manhattan in affordable housing.
“We can use government funds to convert hotels that are closing right now. We need housing for individuals and also for families,” Menchaca said.
The proposal, they say, would help the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers facing housing insecurity and evictions from the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the worst homeless crisis before the pandemic.
“It would be a good idea to help people in the community instead of hotels making money,” said a neighbor.
“Those people who are homeless and looking for places to live outside the city will find it difficult to find work,” said another neighbor.
But as with the hostel proposals, there is opposition.
“Unfortunately there are people who are bad and the place is going to be put at risk,” said another neighbor.
Included in its Steps Forward for NYC plan, Adams’ proposal also involves changes to the city’s zoning rules and building code to allow for quick conversions, in addition to HPD regulations to receive the City’s subsidy.
Others criticized the current selection process to find affordable housing.
“Those buildings that the mayor is putting on the Internet, with New York City connect, are not affordable. And they have to earn 160,000 dollars in income a year and many people here do not earn even eight,” added another neighbor.
Mayor De Blasio did not rule out the possibility of converting some hotels into low-cost apartments, but said that these businesses are essential to get out of the economic crisis with income from tourism and applauded the use that they have been given as isolation facilities for more than 10,000 New Yorkers diagnosed with the virus.