Although the state of New York budgeted $100 million to help nonprofit organizations convert empty New York City hotels into affordable housing, legislators have yet to lift regulations that block the conversions and the funds remain largely unspent, Bloomberg reported.
Two nonprofits have expressed interest in converting the spaces. However, they have yet to file applications because existing zoning ordinances and building codes would make the projects too expensive and time-consuming, they said.
Securing a permit to convert a building’s use from commercial to residential can take a year or more and triggers a requirement that every flat has its own bathroom and kitchenette, which would require massive renovations in a former hotel building.
“We have this desperate need for low-income and affordable and supportive housing and we haven’t been able to move these deals forward,” Brenda Rosen, CEO of housing nonprofit Breaking Ground, told Bloomberg.
Also, for-profit real estate developers with easier access to funding are outbidding nonprofits for the vacant hotels and are turning them into market-rate apartments, the nonprofits said.
The value of hotel buildings is on the rise as tourists and events return to the city, making it harder for nonprofits to assemble the funding to buy the properties, especially as costs rise for construction labor and materials.
About 60 percent of the city’s hotel rooms were occupied during the week ending 12 March, double the rate a year earlier, data service STR reported. 
About 115 of the city’s hotels remain closed, compared to more than 200 at the height of the COVID era, according to the Hotel Association of New York City. 
The state’s $100 million for the program will extend into next year while politicians adjust laws and regulations to accommodate the renovations; governor Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget includes several fixes.
The legislators plan to raise the fund to $250 million and extend the program statewide. More than 45,000 people are housing in shelters, with perhaps thousands more camped on streets and in parks, Bloomberg said. 
TREND FORECAST: How to solve the homeless problem? Simple. It is one of our Top Trends for 2022. (See HOMELESSNESS: THE CELENTE SOLUTION.”)
Mr. Celente notes that many homeless people eschew going to homeless shelters, for a variety of reasons. Homeless shelters are often crowded, and populated by people with schizophrenia and other untreated mental illness, and by drug users and drug dealers, making the shelter a less-than-safe environment. 
And a “shelter,” as with a bomb shelter, just provides temporary protection. It does not address long term sustainability of the half million homeless in America… and the tens of millions around the world.
Celente proposes that, instead of warehousing and hiding homeless persons in hotels and shelters, they be given the opportunity to get out of the cities and into suburban or rural facilities run on the model of Boys Town, the famous village in Nebraska.
The U.S. has any number of locations—like, for example, the part of New York’s Catskill Mountains known as the “Borscht Belt,” an underpopulated region of once-thriving but now largely-defunct resorts.
These lovely country areas would be conducive to self-sustaining villages where the formerly-homeless could live in a clean, safe environment and, while receiving needed treatment, learn to work with their hands and minds. 
And, in addition to government and private funding, it would certainly prove a better application of the tens of millions of dollars in “homeless services” funds that are being wasted or stolen.
TRENDPOST: The Wall Street Journal reported that in 2019 New York City politicians spent $3.2 billion of taxpayer money to house 60,000 people in homeless shelters. That is the equivalent of over $53,000 for each homeless person to give them room and board. 
Only ignorant, narcissistic politicians and bureaucrats who suck off the public teat are stupid enough to not be able to take that money and create uplifting Homeless Towns. In addition, there will be resistance from politicians who get paid off with kickbacks, i.e. “campaign contributions,” by owners of the shelters that now house them.

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