Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday unveiled the state's potential plans to address the housing needs of migrants arriving in New York City.
The governor said the state is exploring various assets, including SUNY campuses, former psychiatric centers and even a hangar at John F. Kennedy Airport.
However, the proposed hanger is still awaiting federal approval.
"We're still focused on where the people are coming in, keeping them, and getting them settled in New York City. New York City's shelter system is overflowing," Hochul said.
With an estimated 500 migrants arriving to the New York City each day, the city is repurposing a previously shuttered prison to house over 500 migrants.
The state has yet to open any of its upstate assets to help with emergency housing, though the city has already contracted privately with hotels.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said her city has already taken steps to house asylum seekers being sent from New York City.
“Even though New York City is paying for the housing, food and some services, for the individuals, their legal status shifts,” Sheehan said. “We want to ensure we are coordinating with [the city] so those individuals coming here understand that and we can provide those services to them.”
The discussion surrounding housing options for migrants coincides with a broader conversation about potential changes to the city's right-to-shelter law.
Concerns have been raised by organizations like The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless, who worry about the potential impact of modifying the law on homelessness rates in the city.
"To use those kinds of sites on an emergency basis is not a reason to go to the court and say we should be relieved of all obligations under the right to shelter as it has existed for 40-plus years," said Legal Aid Society representative Josh Goldfein.
Goldfein suggested that officials should prioritize moving people out of the system to create more space.
Meanwhile, Gov. Hochul said the state is actively engaging with federal authorities to secure additional resources and expedite the process of obtaining work authorization for those seeking asylum.