New York City officials have discussed giving newly arrived migrants tents and housing them in camps in parks, according to a report.
The city has already erected large tents to house asylum seekers, but this new proposal would be more like a campsite, sources told The Wall Street Journal.
The report comes after Mayor Eric Adams said yesterday: “Everything is on the table” when asked whether his plans to house migrants would extend to Manhattan’s famous Central Park.
Adams said the city is running out of hotel rooms and indoor space to house the 65,000 migrants still in its care, after 120,000 arrived in the last 18 months.
A poll released this week found that a majority of New Yorkers agreed with Adams’ own words earlier this year that the refugee crisis would “destroy the city.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams will limit the length of time migrant families can stay in shelters to 60 days
New York City’s refugee crisis is expected to cost the city $4.7 billion this year. Above is a list of some landmarks that have been converted into emergency shelters as authorities struggle to house nearly 60,000 migrants in the city’s care
Adams again issued a stern warning during a news conference Tuesday, saying he was looking for large outdoor areas to house migrants and that people were seeing “the visual signs of this crisis in our city.”
He continued: “It’s not a matter of if people will sleep on the streets, it’s a matter of when. “We’re at full capacity. We need to localize it as much as possible. “We need to make sure that people have some kind of toilet facility, some kind of shower net.”
As the city prepares for winter, Adams said he is already meeting with people who are “doing this in other countries and how to not deal with the sanitation issues that come with it.”
“I have to approach it so that we don’t see what’s happening in other cities where tent cities are springing up everywhere,” he added.
While the mayor didn’t mention distributing the tents Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Adams and his team had considered the option over the summer.
The mayor’s office told CBS News that encampments in Central Park, Prospect Park and Floyd Bennett Field are “on the table.”
Along with hotels and other sites, the city has opened at least 250 emergency shelters for migrants. In March there were just 103, which shows that the crisis is getting worse.
As the embattled mayor, up for re-election in 2025, continues to grapple with the crisis, the new Siena College Research Institute poll also found that half of New York voters now disapprove of him.
Officials have reached out to tent complexes, dormitories, school gyms and parks to comply with a state law requiring housing for homeless people.
Last week, a Staten Island migrant shelter was evacuated after firefighters deemed it unsafe and former officials warned it could become a death trap.
Like adult migrants, migrant families who cannot find housing themselves can return to the arrival center at the Roosevelt Hotel and reapply for housing
A judge had ordered Adams in September to remove the migrants from the former St. John Villa Catholic Academy, ruling that the Right to Housing Act did not apply to migrants, but the Democrat appealed the decision.
While he initially said he was proud to come from a right-to-shelter city, Adams is seeking to suspend the measure that forces the city to provide housing to anyone who requests it.
Adams also limited the length of stay in shelters to 60 days for migrant families with children and 30 days for single migrants.
Like adult migrants, migrant families who cannot find housing themselves can return to the arrival center at the Roosevelt Hotel and reapply for housing, a source told the Daily News.
The historic Manhattan hotel – dubbed “the new Ellis Island” by one city official – has become a migrant registration center and currently houses 3,000 asylum seekers.
Many of the migrants have arrived without shelter or work, forcing the city to build emergency shelters and provide various government services at an estimated cost of $12 billion over the next few years.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, who also welcomed asylum seekers for the first time last year, is supporting the city’s efforts to override a unique legal agreement that requires the provision of emergency shelter for homeless people.
New York City’s shelter-in-place requirement has existed for more than four decades, following a legal agreement that required the city to provide temporary housing to every homeless person. No other major city in America has such a requirement.
Hochul supported New York City’s challenge to the requirement in a court filing this week, telling reporters Thursday that the mandate was never intended for an international humanitarian crisis.