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Commentary

NYC Is 'Fixing' the Homeless Problem by Using Tax Money To Rent Entire Floors of Luxury Hotels

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The homeless crowd in New York City has seen quite an upgrade to their impoverished living conditions lately.

Unfortunately, that upgrade comes at the expense of the taxpayers — just as too many other things often do, especially when Democrats are involved.

According to a discussion on NPR’s Morning Edition last week, NYC is working to keep its end of the bargain when it comes to a law that guarantees every individual a right to shelter.

But, since homeless shelters are full, the city has been renting out rooms in high-priced hotels so these poor individuals can have a roof over their heads.

After all, it’s against the law to reject vagrants requesting shelter.

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Something tells me this won’t incentivize too many within the homeless population to work their way out of poverty. In fact, it’s likely to have the opposite effect.

Planet Money Reporter Sarah Gonzalez compared the homeless population — those who actually live on the streets — between New York and Los Angeles, saying, “LA’s newest count found more than 44,000 people living on the street in some way. New York City’s count found about 3,500.”

She said that NYC was able to achieve such a low number by having far more homeless shelters, allowing 64,000 more people to live at these residences than LA.

“In New York City, there’s what’s called a right to shelter,” Gonzalez said. “The city is legally obligated to find a bed for every person who needs one. If shelters are full, people cannot be turned away. And when the city can’t find a bed, they turn to hotels, sometimes fancy hotels.

Should tax dollars be spent to give homeless people luxury hotel rooms?

“One in the heart of Times Square, between the skyscrapers and flashing lights and tourists, has three floors reserved for homeless families with children,” she said.

“There’s, like, chandeliers, bellboys, really pretty orchids.”

Then, Gonzalez revealed the expense behind this initiative, saying, “Last year, New York City spent $364 million renting hotel rooms as shelters.”

Just think about that for a second.

Many taxpayers are paying for homeless individuals to sleep in a better place and in a better bed than they do, after working a full-time job every day.

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There are plenty of people who grind it out in New York’s concrete jungle and live in tiny apartments that can still be a small fortune to rent.

If the idea of a city renting luxury hotel space for the homeless is infuriating for readers, imagine how someone might feel who actually paid taxes in NYC and lived in a residence the size of a large closet.

Renting out hotels for homeless people because there’s no space in shelters is about as big of a liberal Band-Aid as one could imagine.

These actions show there is a fundamental problem with how the city — and its deep blue Democrat leadership — is handling the homeless population.

They’re handing them a big, juicy fish instead of teaching them how to fish.

Bottom line, a system must be put in place that makes being homeless a temporary state of being, not a permanent way of life.

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Ryan Ledendecker is a freelance journalist and writer. He began reporting news and writing commentary during the 2014 Ferguson riots. Prior to that, he worked as a web editor and columnist for an award-winning local newspaper.
Ryan Ledendecker plunged headfirst into news reporting and political commentary while on the ground during the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. He later wrote extensively on Donald Trump's presidential campaign and election.

When he's not writing, Ryan spends time improving his barbecue skills. He has his own brand of BBQ rub and is a trophy winner in the world of competitive BBQ.
Birthplace
Illinois
Nationality
American
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Science & Technology




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