The city's use of commercial hotels to house homeless people has exploded since November 2015, and the average cost of rooms has gone up to almost $200 per night, according to a new report by city Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Stringer, who has been a vocal critic of Mayor de Blasio's homeless policies, released a report today detailing the Department of Homeless Services' increased reliance on hotels. Between November 2015 and the end of October this year, the number of hotel rooms booked to house the homeless increased from 324 to 2,069. Consequently, the daily amount of money spent on hotels increased from $50,000 per day to $400,000 per day.

The average price of the rooms also went up, from $163 to $194.

Part of the increase is due to the use of hotels in Midtown, including some in Times Square, which cost the city $629/night per room for a block of rooms on two nights in September. The report says that, altogether, the city booked 815 rooms in Midtown costing $400 or more each.

In response to the report, Mayor's Office spokeswoman Aja Worthy-Davis told Gothamist: "There’s no doubt that hotels are not ideal for homeless New Yorkers, but until we get citywide acceptance that more shelters are needed, hotels remain the only short-term option for keeping many New Yorkers off the streets."

She continued, "The city makes every attempt to keep costs low. For two nights that overlapped with United Nations meetings, costs for rooms in Manhattan increased. Our work continues year-round, and we take considerable efforts to keep homeless New Yorkers near their support services, even when those services are in Manhattan. Again, these issues are directly tied to our need to expand shelter space."

David Neustadt, a spokesman for DHS, told Gothamist "Against a background of a 115% increase in homelessness over the last 20 years, we are only using hotels as a temporary bridge until we can open enough shelters to keep homeless children and adults off the street."

A previous report on the city's use of hotel rooms said that the city was spending almost $5,000 per month on each hotel room housing the homeless. Earlier this year, Mayor de Blasio said that DHS would end the practice of using hotels to house homeless families, but didn't include an official timeline for the phase out of the program.

New York City recognizes a "right to shelter," the result of a long legal battle that included current Homeless Services and Human Resources Administration head Steven Banks fighting at the time on the side of the Legal Aid Society on behalf of homeless New Yorkers. Homelessness skyrocketed during Mayor Michael Bloomberg's three terms as housing costs swelled and Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo ended a widely used housing voucher program.

The shelter population has continued to rise under de Blasio since he took office in 2014, even as he has poured resources into housing legal assistance, emergency rent payments, and new vouchers. The city's reliance on hotels has grown in part because administrators are phasing out the use of cluster sites, the term for private apartments converted into shelter units. The model was lucrative for landlords and a Bloomberg favorite, but the units were found to have the worst conditions, the least oversight, and the least assistance programming of any form of shelter.

Scott Stringer is widely thought to be considering a run for mayor against de Blasio.