Mayor Dominic J. Sarno said he is “disappointed” that state officials are housing 30 homeless families from outside western Massachusetts in a downtown hotel for an unspecified period of time without any discussion with city officials. He is asking Gov. Maura T. Haley to reconsider the move, saying the city is struggling to find reasonable housing for its own residents.
However, management at the Holiday Inn Express at the intersection of State Street and Hall of Fame Avenue said Friday afternoon that no families had arrived in Springfield as of 6:30 p.m.
Sabrina Preeti, the hotel’s front desk manager, said she received a call that the family would arrive sometime Friday afternoon. However, Peretti said the hotel is nearly full with hockey fans attending Thunderbirds games as well as guests attending the dog show at the Eastern States Exposition. There’s also a Knights of Columbus convention at the MassMutual Center this weekend.
Preeti told state officials that the hotel had only nine rooms available instead of the 30 she had requested.
In a press release issued late Friday, Sarno spokesman William Baker said the mayor received notification of the placement of 30 families Friday afternoon from Jennifer Maddox, undersecretary of the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development. The families were to be housed in the Holiday Inn Express.
Sarno said his understanding is that the families could be from Massachusetts or out of state.
Baker said Sarno was upset that he did not receive any advance notice of placement and what he called “a complete lack of proper planning and follow-up.”