FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2016
Contact: Lauren Gray (firstname.lastname@example.org, 917-790-3890)
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELESS SERVICES RELEASING REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS TO CONTROL COSTS & IMPROVE SERVICES WHEN RENTING ROOMS AT COMMERCIAL HOTELS
NEW YORK—As part of the homeless services reform process that the Mayor announced in April, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) is issuing a request for proposals seeking vendors to contract for the provision of shelter and social services to families with children, adult families and single adults who are temporarily sheltered in commercial hotel rooms. By using contracts, DHS can exercise greater oversight over the cost of renting commercial hotel rooms and the services provided to clients temporarily sheltered in those rooms.
Against a background of the 115% increase in homelessness in New York City starting in 1994, since 2014, DHS has used emergency declarations to obtain rooms in commercial hotels to be able to meet the legal and moral requirement of providing shelter to homeless New Yorkers. As soon as the contracts are in place, DHS will be able to stop using emergency declarations.
"The City plans to reduce the use of commercial hotels when we can open more ongoing regular shelters, but meanwhile using a contract insures cost efficiency, transparency and, since contracts will include performance standards, better oversight of conditions and services," said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks.
This request for proposals will allow DHS vendors to procure up to 3,900 hotel rooms of which more than 2,500 are for families with children, and will bring in new vendors to provide services. This capacity is roughly equivalent to the capacity provided for under the current emergency declaration.
Under the emergency procurement process, the current average per night commercial hotel rentals are $170 for rooms used for single adults and $174 for rooms used for families with children. Under the contract, DHS expects vendors to control room rate costs and negotiate flat monthly rates, avoiding spikes in rates.
DHS will be requesting an extension of the current emergency declaration to continue to provide payment for existing commercial hotel capacity until proposals are received and new contracts for commercial hotel use are registered.
The City is committed to phasing out the use of commercial hotels to house the homeless. However, until it is able to open sufficient contracted shelters, the City will continue to need commercial hotel capacity to meet the legally mandated requirement to provide shelter.