All of the signs that Glo Hotel is a hotel have been covered up, and it looks like the Best Western chain hotel is now providing emergency housing services to the City of New York.
Glo Hotel is located at 850 4th Avenue, at the corner of 4th Avenue and 30th Street in Sunset Park, and no rooms are available at least through January 1st, 2021. Signs instead direct all employed clients to meet with a housing specialist in the basement.
Though the city will neither confirm nor deny that the hotel, located across from PS172 and the 72nd Precinct, is now a shelter, all signs point to The Best Western hotel’s 83 rooms have been booked by the city to provide shelter to those without for now.
As of Sunday, August 16, 2020, families with children represented more than half of those looking for shelter – 32,528 individuals out of 54,876 across the city. Last night, 18,613 children were without a home in this city – one third of all.
All in all, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) has rented about 139 hotels citywide to provide temporary shelter, of which more than 60 are used to shelter those relocated from permanent homeless shelters during the pandemic. DHS tells us that about 13,000 individuals are sheltered in hotels citywide, up from 3,000, not including families experiencing homelessness who were residing in commercial hotel locations prior to COVID-19.
As of June, 179 single adults were staying across shelters located in CB7, about the same as back in January, while 457 individuals were put up across commercial hotels, almost three times more than before the pandemic started. Notably, the number of families with children staying in commercial hotels has declined since January – from 605 people to 318. The total number of homeless people in the community has not changed significantly, according to data from June.
The new family shelter at 555 4th Avenue by 15th Street is expected to open this fall, a year behind schedule. The one across the street from it at 535 4th Avenue opened earlier this summer. 535 4th Avenue (in Community Board 6) provides 148 units for homeless families while 555 4th Avenue (in Community Board 7) will provide 105 units for homeless families as well as 26 units of affordable housing. WIN will also offer services to the residents of the two buildings including case management, housing specialists, security, and social workers.
In Sunset Park, which is the majority of CB7, very little new or affordable housing has been built in the last few decades, leading to some of the oldest and most overcrowded housing stock in the city.
The majority of the residential buildings in Sunset Park were built before 1939, and based on permits issued by the city, most of the new development is market rate, and there is not all that much of it. In fact, the Furman Center reports a decline in available housing units. All in all, it seems just about 80 units of what the city classifies as “affordable” housing have been created since 2010, according to the latest data from the city, including the redevelopment of Sunset Park Library to include affordable housing.