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Adams further limited migrants' access to free housing: what has changed

'17.10.2023'

Alina Prikhodko

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The Adams administration is moving ahead with controversial plans that would force migrant families with children in city shelters to reapply for housing every 60 days, it says New York Post.

The new rules are aimed at encouraging newly arrived migrants to find new housing, officials said, and mirror a policy that requires adult single migrants living in city shelters to reapply for housing every 30 days.

City Hall began imposing restrictions as the number of people living in city shelters doubled. Now more than 118 thousand people, 64 thousand of them migrants, live in city shelters or in institutions funded by the city.

“With more than 64 asylum seekers still in the City's custody and thousands of new migrants arriving every week, extending this policy to all asylum seekers in our care is the only way to help migrants take their next steps,” the statement said. Mayor Eric Adams. “This move builds on our work to provide services to people in the City's care to help them move into alternative housing.”

New strategy

The pace of arrivals to the city has accelerated in recent weeks following the summer respite, putting the city's social safety net under renewed pressure.

“It is senseless and destructive to place arbitrary time limits on shelter stays,” said Joshua Goldfein, the lead lawyer representing Legal Aid in the ongoing fight for shelter rights.

On the subject: 'They won't help you here': New York no longer wants to accept migrants

“The only thing kids have stability in their lives is getting them into school, and now we're going to disrupt that and throw their lives into chaos,” he added. “It will also disrupt their schools as children come and go every day.”

The Adams administration also provided new details about the size and scope of the shelter being planned for Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Field, an abandoned naval air station that has been turned over to the National Park Service and is the subject of a legal battle.

Authorities plan to house up to 500 families in “mixed-use facilities,” which defies state requirements that each family be given its own room. According to a number of legislative acts and court decisions, officials are obliged to provide housing to anyone in need, regardless of their citizenship.

This rule remains in effect, meaning that if migrants continue to reapply for asylum, officials are required to find accommodation for them. Lawyers for City Hall are seeking in Manhattan Supreme Court to reduce or suspend the rules.

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