Graduation Date

Fall 12-16-2016

First Advisor

Mary Pilon

Second Advisor

Ryan McNeill

Subject Concentration

Business & Economics

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


One in ten of New York City’s 60,000 homeless population lives in a commercial hotel. Commercial hotels are part of a parallel shelter system run by non-profits acting on behalf of the city’s homeless services department. The move to house homeless New Yorkers is a direct outgrowth of the city’s homeless crisis, the severity of which many say the city hasn’t seen the likes of in decades. Based on a review of publicly-available 990 filings, recent comptroller audits and interviews with key stakeholders, this study examines how the city runs the parallel commercial shelter system and which entities stand to benefit from this practice.

AirportMotorInn.JPG (1942 kB)
AIRPORT ROW: On Rockaway Boulevard en route to JFK Airport is an industrial area littered with airports that have traditionally served JFK passengers. It has been reported that some of these hotels are being used to house homeless residents.

mave.JPG (1993 kB)
The MAve boutique hotel, located in East Midtown, has been known to house homeless residents.

SleepInnJamaica.JPG (2599 kB)
he Sleep Inn in Jamaica, Queens, is surrounded by five-foot high metal fences.

DaysInnQueens.JPG (1289 kB)
The Days Inn, located in Jamaica, Queens.

QualityInnBville.JPG (2092 kB)
The Quality Inn on 95 Chester St. in Brownsville, Brooklyn, is one of three known commercial hotels in Brownsville that accommodates homeless residents.

HotelStripQueens.JPG (1993 kB)
South Conduit Avenue in Jamaica, Queens, is home to many hotels, some of which accommodate homeless residents.

NYC Homeless Population Chart.png (78 kB)
Using Coalition for the Homeless figures, here is a visual illustration of New York City's homeless population over time.

NYCHomelessPopulationData_Rawdataset.pdf (137 kB)
NYC homeless population raw dataset.

nychomelesspopulationdataCLEANED.csv (1 kB)
NYC homeless population cleaned dataset.

costsbysheltertype.png (58 kB)
Using the comptroller's figures, this chart shows how the costs to accommodate homeless people in a hotels compare to other types of shelter options.

comptrollerfiguresRAWDATA.pdf (1348 kB)
Raw data used to create the chart on how the accommodation of homeless people in hotels compares to other shelter types.

Costs of Shelter Type - Sheet1 (1).csv (1 kB)
Clean data set used to make cost chart.

hotelmap.pdf (445 kB)
PDF copy of interactive map plotting homeless hotels on a Google Map, located here:



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