The bill for New York City to shelter and care for tens of thousands of migrants arriving in the city could exceed $12 billion by July 2025, Mayor Eric Adams said Wednesday.
(Bloomberg) — The bill for New York City to shelter and care for tens of thousands of migrants arriving in the city could exceed $12 billion by July 2025, Mayor Eric Adams said Wednesday.
The price tag is an extraordinary cost that could jeopardize the city’s ability to provide goods and services to its more than 8 million residents, said Adams, who for months has asked for more state and federal aid to address the crisis. There are currently more than 57,000 migrants in the city’s care, and almost 100,000 have arrived since last spring.
“New Yorkers’ compassion may be limitless but our resources are not,” Adams said Wednesday. The $12 billion figure reflects the total cost since 2022.
The city spends an average of $383 a night to provide food, shelter, medical care and social services to each family seeking asylum with the city, he said. That amounts to $9.8 million a day, and almost $300 million a month, he said, adding that he has asked federal government to declare a state of emergency.
Officials now estimate that the total cost to accommodate the surge in migrants — who have a right to shelter under New York’s unique requirements — will near $5 billion by July 2024, and that the city will spend an additional $6 billion the following year. That figure is roughly 6% of the city’s $107 billion budget, and hundreds of millions dollars more than the city’s total annual spending on the NYPD, the largest municipal police force in the country.
“To meet this need, we would have to add $7 billion to our financial plan,” Adams said.
For the past year, hundreds and occasionally thousands of migrants have come to New York each week from buses sent from Southern border states and elsewhere. The city has opened more than 198 different emergency shelter sites in city buildings and commercial hotels, and recently began sending some migrants to other parts of the state, a move that’s been met resistance from local officials in suburban and upstate counties.
The crisis has taken a turn in recent weeks, with Adams saying the population of people seeking shelter has overwhelmed the city’s resources as they’re prevented from work. Throngs of people have been sighted sleeping on the sidewalks outside the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, a shuttered hotel that’s been converted into the city’s intake facility for new arrivals.
“Asylum seekers come here in search of a dream, not a nightmare,” Adams said Wednesday. “The scenes outside the Roosevelt may sadly become more common.”
City officials are now commandeering soccer fields used by schoolchildren on Randall’s Island for a shelter that can house 2,000 people, building a temporary structure in the parking lot of an abandoned psychiatric hospital in Queens, and using a structure inside Brooklyn’s McCarren Park to house dozens of people. The city is also considering using Central Park and Prospect Park as locations for additional facilities.
Governor Kathy Hochul said Tuesday in an interview with Inside City Hall that the Biden Administration will send a five-person team to visit federally-owned sites in the city to explore their possible use as shelters for the migrants.
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