“A slap in the face to the ideals that New Yorkers hold dear”
Housing Justice for All, a statewide coalition of more than 80 organizations that represents tenants and homeless New Yorkers, released the following statement following Mayor Adams’ announcement today declaring a state of emergency in response to a growing wave of asylum seekers to New York. The statement below can be attributed to Cea Weaver, Campaign Coordinator of Housing Justice for All:
“New York City has long been a beacon of hope for those seeking asylum across the world — symbolized by the Statue of Liberty at one end of New York’s harbor: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’ Now, at the other end of the harbor, there will be a symbol of our biggest failure to meet those ideals.
Mayor Adams’ half-baked plan to house asylum seekers in tents on a flood-prone island is a slap in the face to the ideals that New Yorkers hold dear. Amid a longstanding housing crisis, hurricane season in full swing, and winter around the corner, the Mayor’s response has ranged from abject cruelty to real estate giveaways like 421-a. His plan robs those seeking shelter of their basic human rights and flies in the face of decades of public policy in New York City.
There are clear solutions to the housing crisis that our City faces, solutions which Mayor Adams has continually ignored. Instead of throwing his weight behind policies like the Housing Access Voucher Program that would provide New Yorkers with money to pay the rent or Good Cause eviction protections that could let New Yorkers stay in their homes, Mayor Adams is backing handouts to big developers like 421-a that have failed time and again to provide adequate housing for New Yorkers.
There have been common sense solutions proposed to house asylum seekers, such as using vacant space in shuttered hotels or long term solutions like HAVP. It’s time for Mayor Adams to get behind these solutions – or risk tarnishing New York’s reputation for the long haul.”