MANHATTAN, N.Y. (WABC) — As city officials scramble to find more space to accommodate the influx of asylum seekers bussed into New York City, a new proposal aims to free up space in homeless shelters.
The New York City Council voted Thursday afternoon to make it faster and easier for homeless people to transition into permanent housing by repealing a law that required them to stay in a shelter for 90 days before they could apply for rent subsidies.
However, Mayor Eric Adams is likely to veto the bill because of its cost.
“We are confident in our support, and it would be a shame if the mayor chooses to veto bills that help New Yorkers leave the shelter system,” said Council Speaker Adrienne Adams.
The fact is that there are now more migrants than homeless New Yorkers in the city. In total, the city serves 70,000 people every day. Roughly equivalent to the entire city of Camden, New Jersey.
The legislation aims to make more room for migrants, many of whom live in so-called “respite centers” with little more than a bed to sleep on. The church is one of the six opened in recent days. A seventh is expected to open soon at another church on the Lower East Side.
More than that? New York’s Right to Shelter Act requires the city to provide temporary housing to any homeless person who requests it. Mayor Adams is asking the courts to suspend him for asylum seekers.
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“When you think about it, when the laws were written, I don’t think anybody was thinking about a humanitarian crisis of this magnitude,” Mayor Adams said on WABC radio.
Many council members and homeless advocates insist that such a double standard is immoral.
“I think the administration needs to step back, withdraw these letters in court, and work more closely with housing advocates who advocate for the homeless to find solutions that don’t involve cuts to shelter eligibility,” said homeless advocate Christine Quinn.
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