Mayor Eric Adams signed an executive order Wednesday that temporarily eases housing requirements for homeless families seeking shelter amid the city’s escalating migrant crisis.
The order, in effect for five days, suspends parts of three city laws that regulate how, when and where the Big Apple can shelter homeless families as the city expects a new surge of asylum seekers after the federal Title 42 border policy ends Thursday.
“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,” City Hall spokesperson Fabian Levy said in a statement Wednesday night.
Among the policies temporarily nixed is one that requires the city provide a bed for homeless families with children by 4 a.m. if they made it to a DHS intake facility by 10 p.m. the night before.
The executive order also loosens regulations that limit tenant evictions from hotels and suspends a portion of a law that bars the city from placing homeless families in congregate shelters without their own bathrooms and kitchens.
Adams signed the executive order a day before the pandemic-era Title 42, which allowed law enforcement authorities to swiftly deport migrants apprehended crossing the border, sunsets.
“We appreciate that up until now that the city has been able to provide shelter to everyone and that they’re concerned about what’s coming,” said Joshua Goldfein, a staff attorney at Legal Aid’s homeless rights project.
“But, we’re going to be watching very carefully to make sure that people do not end up in situations where they can be harmed.”
Earlier Wednesday, City Hall announced that 61,000 migrants have been sent to the Big Apple in recent months. And that number is expected to increase with the end of Title 42.
“No asylum seeking-family that has sought shelter from us over the last year has slept on the street thanks to our colossal efforts, but without more support from our federal and state partners, we are concerned the worst may be yet to come,” Levy said in a statement.
With little space left, the city has resorted to emergency shelters, including the NYPD’s former police academy building in Gramercy Park.
In an effort to alleviate the strain on the metro area, Adams began the process of busing migrants upstate in the face of local pols who have declared a state of emergency to try to block him.
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