New York City officials limit the time asylum seekers accompanied by children can spend in the city’s shelter system.
Starting next week, city officials will begin informing some families that they have 60 days to find alternative housing. Last month, New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ administration announced it would distribute 30 days’ notice to adult migrants without children.
The decision to restrict the time spent in the shelter system comes as the city continues to deal with the arrival of large numbers of asylum seekers since the spring of last year. Since spring 2022, more than 126,000 asylum seekers have benefited from the accommodation system.
“For more than a year, New York City has led the response to this national crisis, but significant additional resources, coordination and support are needed from all levels of government. With more than 64,100 asylum seekers still in the city’s custody and thousands more migrants. arriving every week, extending this policy to all asylum seekers in our care is the only way to help migrants take the next steps in their journey,” Mayor Adams said in a statement Monday.
The mayor’s office said it would pair those notices with “intensified casework” to help asylum seekers determine their next steps. A spokesperson for the mayor’s office told ABC News that if someone fails to secure housing within the deadline, they will have to return to the city’s shelter and seek a new placement.
Some advocates believe that issuing these notices is a way for the Adams administration to limit its obligations under the city’s “right to housing” laws, which require the city to provide shelter to anyone in need . The city has asked a court to consider allowing it to waive some of those obligations if it does not have “the resources and capacity to establish and maintain shelter sites, staff and services.” sufficient security to provide safe and appropriate shelter. ” according to court filings.
On Monday, the administration announced it would open a temporary shelter at Floyd Bennett Field in the coming weeks that will house about 500 families in a “semi-congregate environment” with privacy dividers and locks.
“It is outrageous how the Adams Administration continues to do everything possible to destroy New York City’s housing rights protections. This policy ensures that all New Yorkers, regardless of when they arrive here, can keep a roof over their heads while they stabilize their lives and embark on the path to self-sufficiency.” said Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, in part in a statement.
He added: “Now Mayor Adams is putting children at risk by forcing some asylum-seeking families to stay in congregate settings and requiring families to reapply for shelter after 60 days, a move that creates unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles for people who are already waiting. in trouble.”
The spokesperson for the mayor’s office told ABC News he hoped the city could continue to welcome migrants without forcing families with children onto the streets and reiterated the administration’s call for more support from the state and federal governments.