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NYC suspends some homeless shelter rules anticipating migrant surge

The New York City mayor's office says the city's daily intake of migrants has exceeded 500 individuals, and it anticipates a substantial increase.
NYC suspends some homeless shelter rules anticipating migrant surge
Posted at 9:36 AM, May 11, 2023

New York City is tightening its rules around housing homeless as more migrants are expected to flood the country as Title 42 is lifted

On Wednesday night, Mayor Eric Adams took action to deal with overcrowding at the city's homeless shelters by issuing an executive order that temporarily suspends some of the rules related to the city's "Right to Shelter" policy, which requires the city to house migrant families in private rooms.

"The City now faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that requires it to take extraordinary measures to meet the immediate needs of the asylum seekers while continuing to serve the tens of thousands of people who are currently using the DHS Shelter System," said Adams.

A spokesperson for Adams told Scripps News that the reason for the suspension was because the city had hit its capacity.

"With over 130 emergency sites and eight humanitarian relief centers already opened, we have reached our limit, and this last week we had to resort to temporarily housing recent arrivals in gyms. In an effort to mitigate those risks and find room within our shelter system, the city has temporarily suspended the policy surrounding timing for placements in shelters. This is not a decision taken lightly, and we will make every effort to get asylum seekers into shelter as quickly as possible, as we have done since day one," said the spokesperson in a statement. 

SEE MORE: DHS Official: US immigration system badly broken, doesn't meet needs

Critics say the change puts children at risk, but with Republican governors of border states along the southern border busing migrants to the Big Apple, Adams' office says their daily intake has exceeded 500 individuals, and the city anticipates a substantial increase in these numbers as Title 42 is lifted.

That rule is part of a 1979 court settlement and is a major reason New York has less street camping than other major cities. Over the past year, New York City has provided support to over 61,000 migrants, offering them shelter, sustenance and comprehensive care.

Earlier this week, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul issued an executive order allowing the state to use $1 billion to help New York City support asylum seekers.

"With Title 42 set to expire, the circumstances on the ground are expected to change significantly and this Executive Order will be an important part of our coordinated response. I have spoken to Mayor Adams and County Executives throughout New York as we work to address this situation," said Hochul.    

The order will allow the state to mobilize 500 additional National Guard members to help the city, and it will also allow the state to procure equipment, food, and housing for the migrants. 

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