NEW YORK CITY (NewsNation) — Leaders in the 57 counties outside New York City said they were blindsided by a decision by Mayor Eric Adams to send the city’s homeless to surrounding counties. These leaders fear the sudden influx of people could cause their city and county budgets to spiral out of control.
Adams said the leaders didn’t like the idea of the migrants being moved to their community, so he’s sending the homeless. He said it was fair play and a necessary move because NYC’s shelter system is overrun and there’s little hope that will change for the better anytime soon.
“These reforms will give longtime New Yorkers the ability to move out of our city’s shelter system to other parts of the state with more affordable housing options, while simultaneously opening up space in our city’s shelter system for the approximately 10,000 migrants who continue to arrive in the city seeking shelter month after month,” the mayor’s office said in a statement.
Housing vouchers are issued to both homeless people and low-income families. Recipients pay a small amount of their rent and the city covers the rest.
This will be the first time the city will allow housing assistance vouchers to be used outside its five boroughs, giving voucher holders a better chance of finding cheaper housing elsewhere. They will be able to move wherever they want in the state.
The move is an attempt to help handle the homeless population in city shelters, which city officials have stressed is out of control.
The city said it’s caring for more than 100,000 people in the shelter system, which includes 60,000 migrants. With an average of 10,000 migrants arriving every month, the city said all options are on the table.
NYC officials haven’t said how many people are eligible for the program, but asylum seekers are disqualified.
But the mayor’s plan is getting significant pushback.
A statement from the New York State Association of Counties said in part, “We call on New York City to reverse this initiative. Shifting a problem from one part of the state to another does not solve anything. It simply creates more problems.”
Country executives across the state also released a statement, calling Adams’ move a “scheme to unload its failed homeless and sanctuary city policies.”
However, there are those who support the mayor, saying the policy change will allow low-income and homeless families to find permanent affordable housing, landlords will receive a stable income and the move could save the city millions of dollars in shelter cost.