Legal Aid Society


Op-Ed: We Must Keep New York's Right to Shelter

New York 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 an inviolable baseline of humanity and decency.

On the 42nd anniversary of the consent decree that created the law, Adriene Holder, Chief Attorney of the Civil Practice at The Legal Aid Society, and Dave Giffen, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless, have penned a new op-ed for the New York Daily News, warning that the protections codified by Callahan v. Carey are at now risk.

Mayor Adams has asked a Judge to suspend the right.  And Governor Hochul is impeding the City’s ability to provide shelter by, among other things, permitting counties throughout the State to undermine her declaration of a State of Emergency by issuing their own conflicting declarations to keep out new arrivals who desperately need shelter.

The advocates called on all levels of government to come together to serve the influx of new arrivals and long-time New York residents alike.

“Solving this situation requires effective and humane leadership from New York City, New York State, and the Federal government and, crucially, coordination among them,” they write. “What it does not require, however, is a reversal of decades-old protections that have saved countless lives from being lost on our streets.”

Read the full piece here.