ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — New York is making history in addressing the affordable housing crisis. On June 7, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation S.4937/A.6262B, which will convert underutilized hotel space into permanent housing.

The new law will specifically allow Class B hotels located in or within 400 feet of districts that permit residential use and meet certain criteria to use their existing certificates of occupancy to operate as permanent housing. Hotels will also be able to provide permanent housing if they establish an agreement with the City or if they receive State financing, through the Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act.

“As New York’s housing crisis continues to impact families, we’re taking bold action, embracing innovative ideas and thinking outside the box to help ensure that New Yorkers can access safe, livable, and quality affordable housing,” Hochul said in a press release. “This new law allows us to tackle the affordability crisis head-on and convert empty, underutilized spaces into homes.”

The bills were signed along with State Sen. Brian Kavanagh, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and other housing and labor advocates.