A Times Square Hotel Was Set To Become Affordable Housing. Then the Union Stepped In.

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Paramount Hotel, sitting empty in Times Square, was on the verge of turning into a residential building, offering a rare opportunity to create affordable housing in Midtown Manhattan.

A nonprofit was planning to convert the hotel into apartments for people facing homelessness. But after 18 months of negotiations, the plan collapsed this year when a powerful political player intervened: the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council, the union representing about 35,000 hotel and casino workers in New York and New Jersey.

The union blocked the conversion, which threatened the jobs of the workers