The White House Hotel, now closed on the Bowery (Photo via New York Magazine/ Courtesy of White House Hotel)

The White House Hotel, now closed on the Bowery (Photo via New York Magazine/ Courtesy of White House Hotel)

Travel to almost any international city, from Berlin to Lima, and chances are you can to drop your bags at a cheap hostel filled with bunk beds and Ikea furniture, hassle free. 

Not so in New York City. Even one of the last standouts, the hostel (something of a flophouse, in reality), The Whitehouse Hotel on Bowery, closed “temporarily” last year and has yet to reopen. But a new bill, introduced to City Council by Margaret Chin, could allow hostels to thrive, a prospect that has major implications for how we discuss the battle between Airbnb and critics of “illegal hotels.”

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