New York City is currently allocating millions of dollars for laundry services for migrants in local shelters.
An emergency cleaning contract worth $1.1 million was granted to Queens-based CRC Management Co., as disclosed in city records on Thursday, October 26th.
Local leaders have expressed dismay, with Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella criticizing the expenditure saying, “Taxpayers are being taken to the cleaners.” Fossella also questioned the allocation of funds for laundry services to recent arrivals.
The exact amount spent by the city on this initiative remains unclear, but it’s estimated to be substantial, with a previous $10.5 million contract awarded to Sodexo Laundry Service.
Other contracts, totaling over $23 million, include laundry services along with staffing and security.
Officials from the Adams administration have indicated that the cost for these services might reach tens of millions of dollars during a recent City Hall testimony.
Since the migrant influx in spring 2022, New York City has spent $2.26 billion, with $1 billion covering services and supplies, including laundry.
Some critics argue that migrants should bear the cost of their laundry, similar to local residents.
Queens Councilman Robert Holden expressed frustration, saying, “The state and city are treating us like chumps. Migrants should have to go to the laundromat like the rest of us. They should do their own laundry.”
During a City Council hearing on Monday, disparities in contract costs for laundry services were highlighted, with prices ranging from $1.50 to $3 per pound.
City officials stated that the average cost is around $2 per pound, with the necessity to outsource laundry services stemming from the lack of washing facilities in many shelters.
Despite the high costs, City Hall acknowledges the expensive nature of these services. “It’s expensive. All of it is expensive,” a mayoral representative stated, underlining the financial strain of the situation.
Mayor Eric Adams has previously voiced concerns that the migrant crisis could potentially “destroy” New York City without further federal and state support, estimating the total care cost for asylum seekers could reach $12 billion.