Mayor Bill De Blasio is scrambling to buy property to house the homeless after moving them into New York’s high-priced hotels is costing the city $2 million a night and terrifying local residents.
In an effort to prevent Covid-19 breakouts amongst the homeless populations, shelters were closed in favor of an exorbitant plan to help cash strapped hotels stay afloat with government tax money while the tourist industry tanked.
In May, the city instituted a program for 139 hotels to take in 13,000 homeless, including registered sex offenders, for $175 a head per night. FEMA approved federal funds to cover 75% of the $500 million programs, which is set to run through October and expected to be renewed while de Blasio searches for alternative shelter.
When asked if he would consider converting hotels into a permanent housing solution, he ambiguously alluded, “There are buildings we control already and that’s where we’re looking to, or want to control or purchase.”
Faced with the possibility of hotel guests turning into permanent occupants, residents of the Upper West Side have turned to social media to report the chaos their new neighbors are causing in the wealthy borough.
Three upscale hotels are hosting droves of homeless men, who have been caught on film laying in the streets, shooting up, and publicly urinating. Parents in the area are alarmed about the ten registered sex offenders holing up in the Belleclaire, as several men have been seen masturbating in public.
Locals have been harassed and spit on by new residents, who have been seen trolling the streets for drugs and fighting in the neighborhood they have taken over.
Since the beginning of the shutdown, crime has risen dramatically. The homicide rate in July spiked 59% and shootings rose by an astonishing 177%. De Blasio has been instrumental in stripping $1 billion dollars in funding from city police, now residents are depending on them.