According to Democratic Mayor Eric Adams, “the city has run out of hotels and other indoor sites to house more than 65,000 people in its care—most of whom crossed over the Southern border illegally.”
And “All options are on the table,” says Council Member Ari Kagan. One solution? Housing people outdoors in tents.
On Tuesday, Mayor Adams spoke to reporters, saying “When you are out of room, that means you’re out of room.” “Every year, my relatives show up for Thanksgiving, and they want to all sleep at my house. There’s no more room. That’s where we are right now,” Adams continued.
“If the flow continues at 3-4k a week, we are going to have to use draconian measures,” stated Adams. “Our goal is to find ways not to get to that point, but I would be dishonest if I said it is not on the table. We are out of room, and the cost is beyond sustainable.”
“It’s not ‘if’ people will be sleeping on the streets, it’s when. We are at full capacity,” said Adams. “We have to sort of localize it as much as possible. We have to make sure that people have some type of restroom facilities, some type of shower network.”
According to Bloomberg, “New York City…has a unique right-to-shelter policy that guarantees housing to people experiencing homelessness.”
Whether or not the tents will meet legal qualifications for shelter conditions is up for debate. But “City Hall lawyers in October again asked a judge to amend the court orders to give leaders more flexibility when a state of emergency is declared,” writes the Wall Street Journal. Currently, the case is being mediated.
Over the past few days, the mayor has also been steering those forced to leave the shelters to an “office devoted solely to booking plane tickets,” writes Politico. This move might seem hypocritical to those who remember when Adams railed at Florida’s and Texas’ Republican governors for bussing migrants up to the north from the southern border.
Coming to the defense of the Adams’ administration, City Hall officials are saying this is a completely different case because they aren’t forcing migrants to leave the city. “Limits on shelter stays, combined with casework services that include ‘reticketing’ to other places, are necessary to drive down the population in the city’s care and make room for new arrivals.”