Breaking Point: NYC mayor asks court to suspend 'right to shelter' rule over migrant crisis
The city adopted the “right to shelter” mandate in 1981 after a court required the city to provide temporary housing for any homeless individual asking for one
May 25, 2023 8:46am
Updated: May 25, 2023 8:47am
New York City Mayor Eric Adams is asking the city to suspend the “right to shelter” regulation as his administration struggles to house and feed tens of thousands of migrants arriving in the city.
“Given that we’re unable to provide care for an unlimited number of people and are already overextended, it is in the best interest of everyone, including those seeking to come to the United States, to be upfront that New York City cannot single-handedly provide care to everyone crossing our border,” said Adams in a statement.
“Being dishonest about this will only result in our system collapsing, and we need our government partners to know the truth and do their share.”
The city adopted the “right to shelter” mandate in 1981 after a court required the city to provide temporary housing for any homeless individual asking for one. The New York City Law Department submitted an application to Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Deborah Kaplan for the New York City Courts on Tuesday requesting that the regulation be modified or removed.
According to the application, the city does not have enough “resources and capacity to establish and maintain shelter sites, staffing, and security to provide safe and appropriate shelter” for the migrants. The city is currently providing housing and support to more than 93,000 individuals, more than half of which are migrants.
Since last spring, New York City has received more than 73,000 migrants that have been bused from the southern border. New York City has spent more than $1 billion addressing the migration crisis, according to the mayor. However, it is expected to cost the city more than $43 to $4.5 billion by mid-next year, according to an internal memo dated February 6.
To help provide for migrants, New York City requested $350 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. However, the city will only be receiving $30 million.
In the meantime, the city has gone to great lengths to accommodate the incoming migrants by housing them in more than 150 sites, including schools, cruise ship terminals, hotels, and tents throughout the city.