NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City is at a breaking point amid the migrant crisis and seeking new solutions to house the influx of arrivals, according to Mayor Eric Adams.
Hotels are either at capacity or unwilling to help. City officials say the state and federal governments haven’t stepped in to help, nor have neighboring counties.
New York City will be using detached gyms at 20 public schools while migrants continue to be bused and flown to New York City from the southern U.S. border.
The mayor expects 13 to 15 buses to arrive in New York City in the coming days. The city is scouting 400 locations as new shelters.
In the last year, New York City has provided shelter and care for more than 67,000 asylum seekers and migrants. Currently, the city is looking after more than 41,500 migrants.
Last week alone, 4,200 migrants came in on buses and planes, with 900 arriving in a single day.
The mayor was visibly frustrated by the far greater economic impact than just the $4.3 billion estimated cost of housing and health care for asylum seekers.
“[New York City] is the hotel capital, and it’s a major economic engine for us,” Adams said. “Almost 50% of those hotel rooms are being taken up by migrants or asylum seekers that we are paying for. So instead of monies coming from people visiting us — tourism and Broadway plays — instead of them using those hotels, we are using those hotels.”
Brooklyn city leaders on Wednesday called for the mayor to use his governing authority to rent space from landlords with vacant apartments and warehouses at market rate to free up space in shelters. Currently, there are 80,000 New Yorkers living in shelters, with two-thirds being families, including children.
Meanwhile, a number of New York City parents said they will continue to protest at six school gyms across Brooklyn that are currently being used as shelters.
There has also been talk about housing migrants at Rikers Island, which civil rights advocates say would be harsh and traumatizing to migrants who have been through enough. The mayor said so far it’s all been talk, but no options are off the table.