Once again the City of New York blindsided counties late-Tuesday with another scheme to unload its failed homeless and Sanctuary City policies, by exporting its homeless residents to be backfilled with migrants.
New York City’s Department of Social Services (NYCDSS) will allow city-issued housing vouchers to be used statewide by its low-income residents to alleviate homelessness the City is incapable of handling. Under the plan CityFHEPS, participants secure 5-year leases paying 30% of the housing and NYCDSS pays the rest. Typically, CityFHEPS provides landlords three months’ rent upfront plus a 15% bonus, which will inflate housing costs in localities while incentivizing landlords to kick out local residents for the higher paying municipality.
“This is another attempt by the City of New York and Mayor Eric Adams to circumvent the laws and shift a problem resulting from its failed homeless and Sanctuary City policies to other municipalities,” said County Executive Ed Day. “What Mayor Adams fails to realize is this does not solve the problem; it only spreads it across New York State while incentivizing more illegal immigration among migrants eager to backfill the spots in City shelters as they open. Reports confirm migrants are not just coming from the border, but across the country for the free housing, food, and services being provided by the City.”
The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (NYSOTDA) recently spoke with Department of Social Services statewide for input on this city strategy. Departments informed NYSOTDA it would be a bad idea because placing low-income individuals in housing in their current county is already extremely difficult due to housing shortages.
“Any such plan would drive our price of housing up further in an already unaffordable market and cause competition among local programs,” explained Rockland County Department of Social Services Commissioner Joan Silvestri. “It is up to the municipality where the homeless reside to house them within its borders. The City cannot change the rules because they are unable to handle their homelessness.”
“The City of New York created the policies that are fueling these problems. Their solution is to avoid responsibility by encouraging their homeless to move to other counties just so the city can save money on the backs of taxpayers from other jurisdictions. As a matter of law, if one of these people loses their jobs or has other needs for public funding, it will be burdened upon the new county to provide,” said County Attorney Thomas Humbach.
In a joint call between the 57 counties outside New York City and City Department of Social Services Commissioner Molly Wasow Park, all county executives who spoke echoed concerns about the City’s lack of cooperation as it once again blindsides municipalities with this plan, in addition to criticizing the costs beyond housing including school, health, and more that will result from this shift.
“While we are a country of immigrants those who immigrated to this country prior, did so with support from friends and family and not at the expense of taxpayers. This problem is unsustainable and why I’ve echoed countless times that our immigration system needs to be fixed once and for all or else this problem will have no end in sight,” stated County Executive Day. “Landlords considering participating in this be forewarned; it is my opinion this directly violates our State of Emergency as a misdemeanor carrying a daily fine of $2000. I refuse to allow my residents to be ousted from their home or forced into dangerously overcrowded conditions due to the City’s failed policies and will not hesitate to take whatever steps necessary to protect the people in our County.”