By Daniel Katzive
The Mayor’s office announced on Monday that the city will be moving migrants into the Stratford Arms Hotel, a former SRO located at 117th West 70th Street, confirming rumors which began circulating in the neighborhood last week. The city also announced that another Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center (HERRC) would be opened at 205-207 West 85th Street.
The facilities “will serve adult families and single women,” according to a press release from the mayor’s office. “As the estimated number of asylum seekers that have arrived in the city since last spring surpasses at least 74,000, these sites will serve more than 800 individuals in 516 rooms.”
City Councilmember Gale Brewer’s office said migrants could begin moving in as soon as Monday night, but more likely on Tuesday morning.
The Stratford Arms has recently served as a residence hall for the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), which listed the building in its 2022 housing brochure as one of two residential facilities available to its students in New York City. It was not immediately clear how the opening of the HERRC would impact students residing there. West Side Rag requests for information from AMDA went unanswered last week.
Speaking at last week’s community board meeting, Brewer addressed reports that had been circulating about the Stratford Arms and said the building also houses long-term residents from its SRO days. “We have to be very, very careful that none of the [permanent residents] are put out in any way,” she said. “These asylum seekers are pretty special, so I don’t think it will be a problem. But I’m paying attention.”