City Hall’s top attorney wants to cut protections that guarantee homeless New Yorkers quick access to a bed as the recent spate of 11,000 migrant arrivals has stretched the social safety net to the breaking point.
The comments from Brendan McGuire, Mayor Eric Adams’ chief legal adviser, Thursday morning came hours after Hizzoner sparked a firestorm by saying “past practices” needed to be “reevaluated.”
Adam’s comments came after it was revealed the city allowed 60 migrants to sleep on benches and floors overnight at a Manhattan reception center, in apparent violation of the law.
“What we are talking about is the reality that this is completely unforeseen. This rate of influx of people into the system, and so it’s irresponsible not to re-evaluate how the system works,” McGuire said.
“There’s the timing challenge,” he added. “There’s the timing challenge that the mayor talked about, like the 60 men right, we ended up getting them housing.”
He made the comments after Adams and other city officials visited a migrant welcome center in Hell’s Kitchen early Thursday. The facility is near the Port Authority, where many of the buses that take them from the southern border have arrived.
Hizzoner and his city attorney Thursday denied they were trying to reverse the landmark legal settlement between the Coalition for the Homeless and then-Mayor Ed Koch that requires every New Yorker be provided a bed in a habitable building .
“Immigration status doesn’t matter. The consent decree makes no distinction between New Yorkers and non-New Yorkers. We don’t talk about that,” McGuire said.
However, McGuire then suggested that City Hall seek changes to “practices” that flow directly from the agreement, including requiring homeless New Yorkers to be quickly evacuated to emergency shelters upon arrival at an intake.
The Department of Homeless Services is required to give families a place in emergency shelter by 4am if they arrive for a reception before 10pm.
There isn’t such a fixed deadline for single men – who go to a different group of shelters.
But Legal Aid and the Coalition for the Homeless sued city officials in 2009 when they began sending homeless New Yorkers who illegally slept in enemas to “overnight beds” in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood, where they slept just five hours got.
The groups who accused the practice amounted to a violation of the 1981 Convention on the “Right to Housing”. A judge ordered the city to stop the practice, and the lawsuit was eventually settled in May 2010.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/15/nyc-seeks-right-to-shelter-trims-as-mayor-adams-surveys-migrant-crisis/ NYC seeks ‘housing rights’ as Mayor Adams probes migrant crisis