On Monday, Democrat New York City Mayor Eric Adams proposed the idea of paying New Yorkers to house migrants in their private residences as the city continues to find homes for thousands of asylum seekers.
In a press conference dealing with asylum-seeker issues, Adams announced that religious leaders from fifty places of worship have agreed to start housing male migrants overnight, beginning next month. The city will pay a nightly rate of $125 to places of worship for each asylum seeker housed. This move is cheaper than putting up a migrant household (ranging from single adults to families with children) in one of the shelter hotels in the city, which currently costs the city $380 per night.
Adams called it his “vision” for the next step, after opening “faith-based locales” to migrants:
“It is my vision to take the next to this. Go to the faith-based locales and then move to private residents.”
“There are residents who are suffering right now because of economic challenges. They have spare rooms. They have locales,” Adams said. “We can take that $4.2 billion, or $4.3 billion maybe now, that we potentially have to spend, and we can put it back in the pockets of everyday New Yorkers.”
A spokesperson for Adams did not respond, when asked if the mayor would be opening up his Brooklyn home to migrants.
Adams acknowledged that there would need to be a workaround for the state’s “30 day rule,” in order for his plan to work. The rule requires a guest to be “living in a residence for 30 days before they can legally become a tenant,” after which it can be much harder to evict a person.
Adams gave no specific details about how his proposal could work, such as how much New Yorkers might receive and how long such a measure would be in place. If payments are similar to those already being made to houses of worship and emergency sites, New Yorkers who voluntarily house migrants could receive more compensation than a foster parent is given to care for a child in the state.
Some were quick to criticize the mayor’s plan, questioning whether the implementation would actually work.
“Even if it was worth it to homeowners, the city shouldn’t be spending our money on that kind of crap,” Tim Naylor, a Park Slope townhouse owner, told The New York Post. “You have enough New Yorkers who can barely afford to live.”
Many New Yorkers want more details about the logistics of the proposed plan, and wonder whether or not the mayor has considered the challenges that would arise.
“What are the goals? When do we stop paying? What is the off-ramp?” Joe Borelli, the New York City Council Republican leader, asked on Twitter.
There are currently 157 taxpayer-funded emergency sites across the five boroughs of New York City, with 45,900 asylum seekers. Approximately twenty-two hundred migrants arrived at shelters in the city in just the last week.