New York Mayor Eric Adams is proposing to pay owners of private residences to house illegal immigrants sent to his city from border states.
During an event in which Adams revealed religious leaders agreed to start housing adult male asylum seekers overnight at 50 places of worship across the city’s five boroughs next month, he did not provide many details of the plan but said it would help many New Yorkers in financial need.
“There are residents who are suffering right now because of economic challenges,” he said, according to a transcript of the event. “They have spare rooms. They have locales. And if we can find a way to get over the 30-day rule and other rules that government has in its place, we can take that $4.2 billion, $4.3 [billion] even maybe now, that we potentially would have to spend and we could put it back in the pockets of everyday New Yorkers, everyday houses of worship, instead of putting in the pockets of corporations and some of those corporations come from outside our city.”
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The 30-day rule Adams referred to is a city law that requires a guest to be living in a residence for 30 days before they can legally become a tenant.
Even though by law New York is a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants, Adams said the influx of asylum seekers “is a serious crisis” and that “it’s unfair” and “not right that New York is going through this.” He said through May 31, the city has spent $1.2 billion on the crisis, but the federal government has allocated only $40 million in funding.
Adams said each of the 50 houses of worship across the five boroughs will house up to 19 adult male asylum seekers, and that it will cost the city $125 a night to house each person, less expensive than to house them at a hotel.
“Our opportunity here is to work with houses of worship that have a sacred calling to offer hospitality to the stranger and to give them dignity and hope when they have potentially lost that along their journey here to the United States,” he said. “What we hope is a program that will expand beyond the initial 50 houses of worship, as well as five hospitality centers that will be open during daytime where these individuals can come and seek a variety of services, have access to showers, food, legal assistance, new clothing, and those things that they require to live here while they await their day in court or their opportunity to work.”