Cheap hostels could make an NYC comeback

Backpackers rejoice. There might soon be a cheap bunk bed waiting for you in New York City. After a nearly decadelong ban, a new bill could soon legalize hostels in the city.

Councilman Mark Gjonaj and councilwoman Margaret Chin introduced a bill this week that would give the loud, smelly and student-friendly accommodations their own department and classification in the city, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The ban on hostels hit the books in 2010 as a change to the city’s multiple dwelling rules. Over four dozen closed in the wake of the law, The Post reported in 2016. The shuttered hostels rang up an annual revenue of roughly $230 million.

The ban was meant as a slap at short-term rentals such as Airbnb. And although a few hostels were allowed to continue operating in the city, the overall lack of hostels means that for many tourists, NYC isn’t an affordable option.

A similar bill failed to make it to vote in 2015, but Gjonaj, who represents sections of The Bronx, hopes that his bill passes.

“If you can stay in high-end hotels, thank you for visiting, come back again. But we want to afford opportunities for those with modest means,” Gjonaj told the Journal.

However, the new bill still faces legislative hurdles. It must survive several rounds of voting before it can be signed into law by the mayor.

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