Gov. Hochul Signs Bill to Make Hotel Conversions to Housing Easier
Real Estate In-Depth | June 7, 2022
NEW YORK—On June 7, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation (S.4937C/A.6262B) to create more flexible rules for converting underutilized hotel space into permanent housing. Gov. Hochul signed the bills with New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and housing and labor advocates at an event held at 633 Third Ave in Manhattan.
“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,” Gov. Hochul said. “This new law allows us to tackle the affordability crisis head-on and convert empty, underutilized spaces into homes. I thank Assembly Member Cymbrowitz and Senator Kavanagh for sponsoring this bill and taking this step to ensure that New Yorkers have a place to call home.”
State Senator Kavanagh said, “Allowing conversion of underutilized hotel space into affordable permanent housing represents another critical step we are taking toward ending the crises of unaffordable housing, evictions, and homelessness that have gripped New York for far too long.”
New York City Mayor Adams added, “Today, we are saying yes to more of the affordable and supportive housing that New Yorkers need and deserve. This law cuts red tape and removes outdated rules so we can take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity. I want to thank my partners in the legislature and at HTC for providing the support we needed to deliver this win for New Yorkers, as well as Governor Hochul for signing this bill into law.’
The new law authorizes Class B hotels that are located in or within 400 feet of districts that permit residential use and meet certain criteria to use their existing certificates of occupancy to operate as permanent residential spaces. The new bill 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 (HONDA).
In her State of the State address, Gov. Hochul announced a $25-billion, five-year Housing Plan that will create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes in urban and rural areas across New York including 10,000 homes with supportive services. As part of that announcement, the governor proposed easing hotel conversions to create more affordable housing. The governor has also secured an additional $100 million in HONDA funding to convert vacant commercial properties and distressed hotel properties across the state.