Anthony Izaguirre, Associated Press, October 4, 2023
New York City is challenging a unique legal agreement that requires it to provide emergency housing to anyone who asks for it, as the city’s shelter system strains under a large influx of international migrants who have arrived since last year.
The city filed a request late Tuesday asking a court to allow it to suspend the requirement when there is a state of emergency where the shelter population of single adults increases at a rapid rate.
The filing came as Mayor Eric Adams embarks on a four-day trip through Latin America, starting Wednesday in Mexico, where he said he will discourage people from coming to New York, telling them the city’s shelter system is at capacity and its resources are overwhelmed.
The city has been moving to suspend the so called right to shelter for months under the surge of migrants, arguing the requirement was never intended to be applied to a humanitarian crisis such as the latest influx.
The shelter requirement has been in place for more than four decades in New York City, following a legal agreement struck in 1981 that required the city to provide temporary housing for every homeless person. No other big city in America has such a requirement.