How many homeless families still live in hotels in western Massachusetts?

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – “End family homelessness in the commonwealth of Massachusetts.” That’s been the goal for years, transitioning homeless families out of hotels and into affordable housing.

The 22News I-Team first reported in 2012, there were more than 1,800 families living in hotel rooms. It didn’t work for them, or for the cities and towns.

in December 2014 Governor Charlie Baker visited Holyoke to address the issue. He then told 22News, “It’s not the right thing to do for the kids. It’s not the right thing to do for the families and it’s certainly not the right thing to do for the community.”

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse also said during the Governor’s visit, “It’s had a relatively negative impact on tourism and business, people coming into those hotels that were much regarded as a place to stay.”

Wednesday night, 22News found out there are no more homeless families living in hotels in western Massachusetts. We learned that the last family moved out of the hotel in June of 2016, and that’s a good thing for the families and for taxpayers.

It cost $3,000 taxpayer dollars each month for a family to live in a hotel room. In comparison, it only costs $600 to $800 per month for an apartment. In 2012, when the number of homeless families in hotels hit its peak, the state spent $45-million housing them.

There are still 100 families in homeless hotels, all of them in eastern Massachusetts. The state missed its goal to have all families out of hotels by June of 2014.

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