New York City’s shelter system is housing an unprecedented 100,000 individuals, over half of whom are asylum seekers, amid an escalating housing crisis, according to City Hall.
As city authorities grapple to meet the increasing demand, the contentious decision to cut the Department of Homeless Services’ budget has added to the strain.
Mayor Eric Adams and city legislators have agreed to a $107 billion budget plan, which partially relies on these controversial budget reductions.
According to Fabien Levy, City Hall Press Secretary, “More than 50,000 migrants are still currently in our care; at this point, we have reached the tipping point, and we are now caring for more asylum seekers than long-time New Yorkers experiencing homelessness.”
He reiterated the city’s commitment to tackling the crisis while emphasizing the urgent need for assistance from other cities, the state, and the federal government.
The current shelter system, comprising of 166 emergency facilities and 11 public hospital mega-sites, accommodates over half of the shelter population. It costs the city approximately $8 million per day.
Caring and housing for the new arrivals, primarily from the southern border, will cost an estimated $4.4 billion for 2023-2024. The state and federal governments have committed $1 billion and $150 million, respectively, towards these expenses.
Mayor Adams’ 2024 budget demands that non-profit organizations operating shelters and outreach programs reduce their budgets by nearly 2.5%.
Critics warn that these cutbacks, including reduced hours and increased caseloads, will exacerbate the current housing crisis and make it more challenging to manage the influx of migrants.