I-Team: Cost of homeless hotels in WMass

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – For years, the state has paid thousands of dollars a month to temporarily house hundreds of homeless families in hotels and motels and now a 22News I-Team investigation reveals exactly how much we’re talking about.

The I-Team discovered in 2009 western Massachusetts hotels got a total of six million dollars, another six million the next year, the state paid $11.5 million in 2011, topped out at $17 million in 2012, and another $10 million last year.

Figures we showed to taxpayers.

“I mean I think it’s beneficial for the hotels themselves, but as taxpayers, I don’t think they should be spending all their hard-earned money on other peoples well-being,” said South Hadley’s Nicholas Tipton.

We also found out how much each individual hotel has gotten.

One hotel that’s made top dollar over the past few years, is this one here in Holyoke. Over the past five years, it’s brought in $10.2 million dollars from the state.

That’s not even the most. The Econolodge in Chicopee has been paid $10.8 million dollars over the last five years. Also in the top 3 is Quality Inn in West Springfield that was paid $9 million dollars.

“Yeah, that’s a really big number. they could be doing other things with that. I think, personally,” said West Springfield’s Michelle Rossman.

The state has been trying to get all the families out of hotels by the end of this month. It’s been their goal for years, but the Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development admitted today that won’t happen.

“We’re not going to be able to do that by the end of the month, but we’re working hard everyday to reduce the number of families having to stay in the motels. Rehousing families everyday as quickly as possible,” Gornstein said.

To see the details of how much each hotel has gotten over the years, see below:

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