Legal Aid Society


LAS Decries Mayor's Shameful Attempt to End Right to Shelter

The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless are decrying the Adams Administration’s revised application to gut Right to Shelter protections for both new arrivals and thousands of longer-term New Yorkers seeking or residing in shelter.

The City’s landmark Right to Shelter legal framework ensures that anyone who asks for shelter receives it, and the protections it offers have served as a baseline of humanity and decency for over 40 years.

“The City’s shameful revised application would go far beyond limiting its obligation to provide some form of emergency shelter to asylum seekers and other new arrivals,” reads a statement from the organizations. “If successful, the City would have the ability to declare an emergency, and effectively end the Right to Shelter for thousands of New Yorkers – including working poor individuals who rely on the shelter system and, alarmingly, individuals who rely on disability benefits.”

“This abhorrent and unnecessary maneuver is a betrayal of the City’s commitment towards ensuring that no one is relegated to living – or dying – on the streets of our city,” the statement continues.

“Throughout this legal back-and-forth, we have offered to work with the City in good faith to find ways to meet the current demand for shelter,” the statement reads. “Rather than continue that conversation or allow the goals of the recent grant of Temporary Protected Status and Governor Hochul’s plan of assisting thousands of new arrivals with work authorizations and finding employment throughout New York State to be realized, the Mayor is instead seeking to end the Right to Shelter as we know it.”