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NY Mayor Building 1,000-Bed Tent To Accommodate Asylum-Seeker Influx

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is setting up tent shelters to handle the influx of asylum seekers. The action will buy his administration more time to comply with right-to-shelter laws that have been violated twice since the arrival of migrants. Of the 14,600 asylum seekers who have arrived in New York, an estimated 11,000 ended up in the city’s homeless shelter system, putting an enormous strain on a system already operating near capacity, reports Politico. Legally, the city is required to provide shelter in a timely manner, but it violated that obligation at least twice when it failed immediately to house four families and 60 single men. The time limit starts when shelter seekers request housing at Department of Homeless Services-controlled intake centers. The temporary tent shelters that the Adams administration is forming in a Bronx parking lot will be operated by New York City Emergency Management and the Health + Hospitals Corp. The Department of Homeless Services will not be involved.

The administration said it wants to route migrant buses directly to the tent shelters, making it the first point of contact. Upon arriving, asylum seekers will be provided with medical care if necessary and asked whether they have friends or family to stay with. The 1,000-bed tent being built for adult asylum seekers will be heated, but it won’t fulfill all the requirements to comply with right-to-shelter laws. Migrants seeking housing through the city will stay there for 24 to 96 hours, providing the administration a buffer against the right-to-shelter timer: If someone were to arrive directly at the Homeless Services intake center, a longstanding statute would require the city to find them a bed that same night. The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless raised concerns about the city falling short of right-to-shelter rules and said they are waiting to hear more about how the tent shelters will operate.


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