Court rules city must keep Sandy victims in hotels

Kings Hotel
People near the Kings Hotel, where many Sandy victims are staying. (Credit: Miles Dixon)

The city must keep paying hotel subsidies for people who have no homes after Sandy, a court ruled.

Councilwoman Annabel Palma, head of the Council’s General Welfare committee, said a judge ruled the city could not discontinue the subsidies.

The city had announced they would stop paying for hotel rooms starting April 30.

Since the hurricane six months ago, hundreds people without homes have been staying in hotels temporarily.

Advocates for them say they have nowhere to go and asked the city to allow them more time to find housing.

A State Supreme Court ruling temporarily restrained the city from stopping the hotel subsidy program.

“Today’s ruling is a welcome relief to the hundreds of families living in hotels who cannot afford to have their lives uprooted once again,” Palma said. “But it should not have come to this. New Yorkers should know that they will not be abandoned by the city in time of great need.”

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said the mayor’s administration’s actions were a “disgrace.”

“It’s wrong and inhumane to throw New Yorkers out on the street when they have nowhere else to go,” he said. “The program should end when the last family has a home to return to, and not a day sooner.”

The New York City Law Department vowed to fight the ruling this morning in court.

“The city made heroic efforts after Hurricane Sandy, and we strongly believe this complaint is without merit,” said Thomas Crane, chief of the general litigation division.


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