Call it having your cake and suing it too?
The city is paying thousands of dollars a month to house homeless families at the luxury MAve Hotel on Madison Avenue, while also suing the hotel’s owner for allegedly improperly running hotels at four Midtown rental buildings, the New York Post reported. The city pays an average of $165 per room to house homeless families, meaning that if all 72 rooms at the NoMad hotel are rented out, the city would be paying $4.3 million.
Last year the city sued MAve’s owner, Salim Assa, principal of Assa Properties, for allegedly running an illegal hotel out of rental buildings at West 55th and West 46th streets. Last week, a city inspector found that a British businessman was renting a room at the West 55th building for a one-week stint.
The city is increasingly depending on hotels and motels to house homeless residents. According to the Post, the number of homeless individuals living in city hotels has tripled in the past year — even though Mayor Bill de Blasio said in February that the city was going to start cutting down on the practice. The city is also exploring other options. As The Real Deal reported earlier this month, changes made to the city’s affordable housing guidelines could require developers with subsidized units to board homeless residents. [NYP] — Kathryn Brenzel