The city will spend at least $596 million a year to provide shelter, education, health care and legal assistance to thousands of asylum seekers who have arrived in recent months, its independent budget office said Sunday.
The IBO estimate — requested by Staten Island political leaders — was calculated based on 17,500 refugees currently living in city shelters or under the city’s care in hotels.
And the price could increase dramatically.
“The arrival of an additional 10,000 asylum seekers – assuming the current household composition remains constant – would add approximately $246 million to the cost,” wrote IBO Executive Director George Sweeting.
“The total cost of providing the identified urban services cannot be estimated with certainty as the number of people arriving continues to evolve.”
In September, Adams asked President Biden for $500 million to deal with the migrant crisis, but federal aid is unlikely, Sweeting warned in a memo accompanying the report.
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday opened the door to providing state funding to the migrant wave – after months of trying to divert the issue amid her tough campaign with Lee Zeldin to the Biden administration.
The comments came the day after the revelation that Adams will close the migrant tent city on Randall’s Island and relocate its residents to the Watson Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.
The facility on Randall’s Island replaced an earlier one on Orchard Beach in the Bronx that was moved because of flooding concerns — but only after the city had already spent $750,000 on construction.
City officials have declined to disclose how much they spent on the second camp and how much it cost to dismantle the first facility.
Councilman Joe Borelli — who along with his Staten Island colleagues requested the IBO’s analysis — blasted the massive spending that he said could have been used to shore up losses in city workers’ pensions.
“It’s incredible to imagine that if we didn’t spend $600 million to accommodate Biden’s open border, we would have the $600 million we need to prevent our city retirees from losing their current health plan.” It all comes out of the same bag,” Borelli said.
Adams had estimated the cost of housing migrants at $1 billion – but he admitted on Saturday the price would ultimately be much less.
“As the number of asylum seekers arriving in New York City has fluctuated widely in recent weeks, we are reviewing past analysis to see if there is a more accurate estimate of the total cost for the current fiscal year,” City Hall spokesman Fabian Levy said said in a statement.
https://nypost.com/2022/11/13/nyc-to-spend-at-least-600m-a-year-on-migrant-crisis-watchdog/ NYC spends ‘at least’ $600 million a year on migrant crisis: Watchdog