New York City officials have discussed handing tents to newly arrived migrants and housing them in encampments in parks, according to a report.
The city has already erected large tents to shelter 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 yesterday said ‘everything is on the table’ when asked whether his plans to shelter migrants would extend to Manhattan’s iconic Central Park.
Adams has said the city has run out of hotel rooms and indoor sites to house the 65,000 migrants that remain in its care after 120,000 arrived in the last 18 months.
It comes as a poll published this week found that a majority of New Yorkers agreed with Adams’ own words earlier this year that the migrant crisis will ‘destroy the city.’
New York City mayor Eric Adams will limit shelter stays for migrant families to 60 days
Above is a list of some of the landmarks that have been turned into emergency shelters as officials struggle to house nearly 60,000 migrants in the city’s care
Adams again issued a grave warning during a press conference on Tuesday, saying he is looking for large outdoor spaces to house migrants and people are going to start seeing ‘the visual signs of this crisis in our city.’
He continued: ‘It’s not “if” people will be sleeping on the streets, it’s when. We are at full capacity. We have to sort of localize it as much as possible. We have to make sure that people have some type of restroom facilities, some type of shower network.’
As the city prepares for winter, Adams said he is already meeting with people who ‘manage this in other countries on how do you not deal with the sanitary issues that comes with it.’
‘I have to manage it in a way that we don’t see what’s happening in other cites, where you’re seeing tent cities pop up all over the place,’ he added.
While the mayor did not mention tent distribution on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reports Adams and his team considered the option during the summer.
The mayor’s office told CBS News that encampments at Central Park, Prospect Park and the Floyd Bennett Field are ‘on the table.’
With hotels and other locations combined, the city has opened at least 250 emergency shelters for migrants. Back in March, there were just 103, demonstrating how the crisis continues to worsen.
As the embattled mayor, who is up for reelection in 2025, continues to deal with the crisis, the new Siena College Research Institute poll also showed half of NYC voters now disapprove of him.
Officials have turned to tent facilities, dorms, school gyms and parks to comply with a state law requiring housing for the homeless.
Last week, an emergency migrant shelter in Staten Island was evacuated after the fire department deemed it unsafe and former officials warned it could become a death trap.
The city has already erected large tents to shelter asylum seekers but this new proposal would be more like a campsite. The tent shelter at Randall’s island is seen above
Like migrant adults, migrant families who can’t find housing on their own will be able to return to the arrival center at The Roosevelt Hotel and reapply for shelter placement
A judge had ordered Adams to remove the migrants from the former St. John Villa Academy Catholic school in September, deciding the Right to Shelter law did not apply to migrants, but the Democrat appealed the decision.
While he first said he was proud to come from a Right to Shelter city, Adams has been trying to suspend the measure, which forces the city to provide shelter for anyone who asks for it.
Adams has also limited shelter stays for migrant families with children to 60 days and for single migrants to 30 days.
Like migrant adults, migrant families who can’t find housing on their own will be able to return to the arrival center at The Roosevelt Hotel and reapply for shelter placement, a source told the Daily News.
The historic hotel in Manhattan – dubbed ‘the new Ellis Island’ by one city official – has become the registering point for the migrants and is currently housing 3,000 asylum seekers.
Many of the migrants have arrived without housing or jobs, forcing the city to erect emergency shelters and provide various government services, with an estimated cost of $12 billion over the next few years.
Governor Kathy Hochul, who also first welcomed asylum seekers last year, is supporting the city’s effort to suspend a unique legal agreement that requires it to provide emergency housing to homeless people.
The shelter requirement has been in place for more than four decades in New York City, following a legal agreement that required the city to provide temporary housing for every homeless person. No other big city in America has such a requirement.
Hochul endorsed the New York City’s challenge to the requirement in a court filing this week, telling reporters Thursday that the mandate was never meant to apply to an international humanitarian crisis.