Governor Hochul signed a new law today that is designed to help meet the dire need for affordable housing in New York State. She signed new legislation (S.4937C/A.6262B) on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, that will allow hotels in certain areas, that meet specific criteria, to convert underutilized rooms into permanent housing.

New York State has an affordable housing crisis

Gov. Hochul said,

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. This new law allows us to tackle the affordability crisis head-on and convert empty, underutilized spaces into homes.

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Under the new law Class B hotels located in or within 400 feet of districts that permit residential use, that also meet certain criteria, can operate as permanent residential spaces. The hotels will be able to use their existing certificates of occupancy. If they enter into an agreement with the City of New York or get financing through the Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act.

Class B Multiple Dwellings, which include SRO Hotels and rooming houses and which became subject to rent regulations on June 4, 1981, contain units occupied by transient residents and are not required to have a kitchen or bathroom in each unit. The occupant of a hotel, Single Room Occupancy or rooming house may only be protected by rent stabilization if he or she becomes a 'permanent tenant'.

The new law is part of Gov. Hochul's $25 billion, 5-year plan to address the need for affordable housing around New York State. The plan will create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes in urban and rural areas.

The new law is a critical step in ending housing struggles

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The bill was co-sponsored by Assemblymember Steve Cymbrowitz and State Senator Brian Kavanagh, who 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.

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