Unhoused people are currently occupying 442 rooms at eight hotels in South Portland, a city official said this week.

In March of last year, the city estimated that 800 people were being sheltered at hotels in the city. It was unclear how many hotel rooms they occupied.

Days Inn and Comfort Inn, under city-imposed conditions, can no longer fill any vacant rooms by contracting with federal, state, local or non-government agencies. Both hotels, owned by New Gen Hospitality, had contracted with MaineHousing during the COVID-19 pandemic to operate as shelters.

By the end of February, those hotels are also required to work with providers to find housing for those still sheltering there.

The conditions were set with the goal of moving unhoused clients to other locations by March 1.

The city “has been informed that both hotels have made progress in this regard,” Shara Dee, communications director for the city, said in an email to The Forecaster.

Most hotel owners who have been sheltering unhoused people want to resume normal hotel operations, Dee said.

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