Advocates make end of session push for lawmakers to pass HONDA

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Only four session days remain at the New York State Capitol for lawmakers to get bills passed for the year. One measure that’s being considered would help convert shuttered and rundown hotels into affordable places for people experiencing homelessness to live. It’s called the Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act, or HONDA.

HONDA would lay out a path for the state to buy dilapidated or shutdown hotels and flip the properties. Advocates say that through the budget, $100 million for hotel conversions was allocated and that this would put that money to good use.

“What we’re really saying is that that revenue should be invested in housing for those who are most impacted by the housing crisis and it should be deeply affordable and it should be targeting those who need it the most,” said Citizen Action of New York Legislative Director Rebecca Garrard.

Supporters also note that New York State’s eviction moratorium is slated to end August 31st. Once that happens, they fear there will be an even greater need for housing. 

“The eviction moratorium when it ends is going to leave tens of thousands of New Yorkers without a home and we already have our shelters currently overcrowded,” said VOCAL-NY Upstate Lead Organizer Luke Grandis.

In a statement the president of the Hotel Association of New York City, Vijay Dandapani, said the organization “supports the legislation and would encourage the allocation of more funds for the initiative.”

The legislation has not yet passed either chamber. The last day of the legislative session is June 10th. 

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