Mayor Adams Seeks to Suspend NYC’s Right-To-Shelter

Mayor Adams has requested a temporary suspension on the City’s right-to-shelter mandate. The request follows the influx of over 122,700 asylum seekers since last spring, with associated costs projected to exceed $12 billion over three years.

The mayor isn’t looking to end the 1981 consent decree, but to modify it given present circumstances. The city’s lawyers have asked for the right to suspend the shelter rules during declared states of emergency and when there is a substantial influx of people seeking shelter.


While Adams specifically asked a judge to suspend the requirement to house single adult migrants, some opponents of his plan are concerned it will impact migrant families as well. Other critics – including the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless – argue that this move could drastically increase street homelessness.

Mayor Adams is embarking on a four-day trip to Latin America to witness migrant flows – and to discourage asylum seekers from coming to New York City through Latin American media platforms. While one of his aides has called for the federal government to “close the borders,” Adams maintains that the border should stay open but urges a “decompression strategy” to manage the influx into the city.

Adams has criticized President Biden for the mounting costs of providing services to migrants and called for declaring a federal emergency and significant federal funding for the city. Despite criticism, the Biden administration has announced plans to grant work permits to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan migrants.


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  1. Jay October 4, 2023
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