Mayor’s office calls on federal government for aid in migrant influx amid looming housing crisis
Asylum seekers continue to flock to New York City, and the mayor’s office says they cannot support the influx alone, calling on the federal government for aid.
The city says it’s taking the necessary steps at this time to prevent a housing crisis. This comes as 44,000 asylum seekers are being cared for in New York City, according to city officials.
There are currently 150 emergency sites across the five boroughs providing resources to migrants, and despite New Yorkers stepping up to do their part, the city says it’s hit a breaking point.
“I compare it to the COVID epidemic,” said Rev. Erbin Cobian, president and founder of the Manna of Life Ministries. “It’s just turned over everything that we’ve done, and it’s almost like we’ve got to start from scratch.”
New York City has invested over $1 billion so far to care for asylum seekers, but says they are unable to prepare for a seemingly unlimited number of people. Mayor Eric Adams asked a judge to modify the city’s right to shelter law on Tuesday, and City Hall Chief Counsel Brendan McGuire says the city is just trying their hardest to do the right thing.
“It is looking for areas of flexibility where the mayor, as the executive branch, is not hamstrung necessarily by a 40-plus-year-old judicial order,” said McGuire.
The Legal Aid Society and Coalition for the Homeless issued a statement in response, saying in part:
“The Administration's request to suspend the long-established State constitutional right that protects our clients from the elements is not who we are as a city…”, adding that they will oppose any measure the mayor may puts forward that “threatens those protections”.
Adams’ team says they aren’t looking to eliminate the right to shelter in the city, but that they are looking to preventative measures before the housing system buckles.