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Forums » General Real Estate Investing » Hotel rooms for the homeless question in MA

Hotel rooms for the homeless question in MA

10 posts by 5 users

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· Massachusetts


In my area we have lots of homeless families living in hotels. The state of MA pays about $82/night per family to live in the hotels. Does anyone know if we can set up a house as a short term rental and have the state pay us big bucks to rent housing per day to the homeless too?

http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/08/homeless_hotel_tab_nears_1m_a_week



Real Estate Investor · Raleigh, North Carolina


I don't think it would be very profitable, having to provide for the demands of a discriminating homeless person....housekeeping, room service, cable tv, etc...God forbid the wireless internet goes down...



Real Estate Investor · Englewood, Colorado


@John H.,

It is sad your motivation is to make “big bucks” from other’s tragedy and from the taxpayers’ hard-earned money.



Real Estate Investor · Raleigh, North Carolina


Just a way to get some of your own hard-earned tax dollars back, to my way of thinking....



Real Estate Investor · Holly Springs, North Carolina


I take a different view. STRs (Short Term Rentals) do yield higher rates, but your expenses will escalate significantly. Do you already provide utilities? You will. The hotels operate, basically, day-to-day or weekly vs. 12 month or even month-to-month for a typical rental. Your deposit will be limited or non-existant in a lot of places. Expect issues you don't currently have. You may need your house registered, you may have local ordinance issues. Do you know the 'rules' for placement? When your tenant brings in bed bugs, you'll need to handle it. It isn't fun.

Why are they homeless? Are they Veterans? Veterans with PTSD? My company has been leasing STR housing since before Katrina. Regarding "... having to provide for the demands of a discriminating homeless person....housekeeping, room service, cable tv, etc...God forbid the wireless internet goes down..." I guess this was meant as a joke. Also, I get the sense you've never dealt with a crisis like Katrina. That was a difficult time for everyone. My company put up several Katrina victims, and in my view these people were extremely grateful that we did. Going from 4 people living in a Taurus for months to "normal" living conditions... well, it made their day/week/month. We didn't have any 'windfall profit'. Even with our 'quick turns', the higher rent offset our expenses which were quite high. We didn't compromise on our screening and we had our share of "posers" and bad fits that we rejected, leading (ironically) to short term vacancy issues. By the way, we took $0 in FEMA or other federal funds.

I wouldn't do STR on a furnished house, and I'd guess the MA program wouldn't either. Extended Stay "fits" better. Some local Inns/Hotels cater to weekly rentals to cater to homeless. They 'fit' better too.

To sum up, this is probably not an opportunity worth pursuing.



Real Estate Investor · Raleigh, North Carolina


Originally posted by Chris Martin:
I take a different view. STRs (Short Term Rentals) do yield higher rates, but your expenses will escalate significantly. Do you already provide utilities? You will. The hotels operate, basically, day-to-day or weekly vs. 12 month or even month-to-month for a typical rental. Your deposit will be limited or non-existant in a lot of places. Expect issues you don't currently have. You may need your house registered, you may have local ordinance issues. Do you know the 'rules' for placement? When your tenant brings in bed bugs, you'll need to handle it. It isn't fun.

Why are they homeless? Are they Veterans? Veterans with PTSD? My company has been leasing STR housing since before Katrina. Regarding "... having to provide for the demands of a discriminating homeless person....housekeeping, room service, cable tv, etc...God forbid the wireless internet goes down..." I guess this was meant as a joke. Also, I get the sense you've never dealt with a crisis like Katrina. That was a difficult time for everyone. My company put up several Katrina victims, and in my view these people were extremely grateful that we did. Going from 4 people living in a Taurus for months to "normal" living conditions... well, it made their day/week/month. We didn't have any 'windfall profit'. Even with our 'quick turns', the higher rent offset our expenses which were quite high. We didn't compromise on our screening and we had our share of "posers" and bad fits that we rejected, leading (ironically) to short term vacancy issues. By the way, we took $0 in FEMA or other federal funds.

I wouldn't do STR on a furnished house, and I'd guess the MA program wouldn't either. Extended Stay "fits" better. Some local Inns/Hotels cater to weekly rentals to cater to homeless. They 'fit' better too.

To sum up, this is probably not an opportunity worth pursuing.

I had lot's of "Katrina victims" submitting applications for my rental properties....very well-heeled victims...I'll end my participation in this thread by saying I'm not a fan of government welfare or socialism...



Real Estate Investor · Holly Springs, North Carolina


Regarding "I'm not a fan of government welfare or socialism..." I hope you don't have any government subsidized FNMA mortgages. If you do, please pay them off with competitive market, commercial loans. You may pay more, but you won't be contributing to government welfare or socialism.



Real Estate Investor · Raleigh, North Carolina


Originally posted by Chris Martin:
Regarding "I'm not a fan of government welfare or socialism..." I hope you don't have any government subsidized FNMA mortgages. If you do, please pay them off with competitive market, commercial loans. You may pay more, but you won't be contributing to government welfare or socialism.

Not a very good analogy Chris...I could forego government subsidized loans and only use free market money, but I would be foregoing government subsidized loans that I subsidize, which would be quite unprofitable...If you'll agree to allow me to stop paying in, I'll stop taking out...Nice try but doesn't fly...


Multi-family Investor · St Petersburg, Florida


We had looked at using old hotels/motels to house the homeless but the operating costs were pretty high compared to apartments/SFH.

And as someone who provides housing for homeless veterans - no matter how it's phrased, the idea that only welfare cheats need a place is both highly offensive and revealing at the same time. Everyone's got places their tax dollars get spent that they'd rather they didn't; get over it.


Scott Seaman, NobleHouse Foundation
Telephone: 828-278-9580
Website: http://www.facebook.com/NobleHouseFoundation


Real Estate Investor · Raleigh, North Carolina


Originally posted by @Scott Seaman:
We had looked at using old hotels/motels to house the homeless but the operating costs were pretty high compared to apartments/SFH.
And as someone who provides housing for homeless veterans - no matter how it's phrased, the idea that only welfare cheats need a place is both highly offensive and revealing at the same time. Everyone's got places their tax dollars get spent that they'd rather they didn't; get over it.

@Scott Seaman,

That is a noble thing you are doing, providing housing to homeless people using your own money without reliance upon taxpayer dollars to do so. I am sure you are able to deliver a much greater percentage of your dollar to the recipient than any government program could ever hope to...Kudos...





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