Mayor Eric Adams is stepping up his pressure campaign on the federal government, with nearly 100,000 migrants having arrived in the city since last spring.
Adams laid out the financial burden of housing and feeding migrants during a press conference Wednesday. The city has already spent more than $1 billion, Adams said.
“If things do not change, our new estimates have us spending nearly $5 billion on this crisis in the current fiscal year. That’s up from $1.4 billion from last fiscal year, and it nearly equals the budgets of [the Department of Sanitation], [Department of Parks and Recreation] and the FDNY combined,” Adams said.
Currently, the city is spending an estimated $9.8 million a day on migrants. Over 57,000 asylum seekers are in the city’s care.
“We are past our breaking point,” Adams said, referring to the pressure the city’s shelter system has been under for the last year.
Officials now believe the city will spend $12 billion by the end of the 2025 fiscal year.
Adams said city services, including those for migrants, could be affected to offset the costs.
“Our team is doing an analysis on how much we’re spending on asylum seekers and we’re looking at how do we bring down that costs as well,” Adams said.
The city recently implemented a 60-day shelter stay for single adult men that officials hope will reduce the population by 20%.
Adams said state aid has been slow. Of the $1 billion Gov. Kathy Hochul has committed to the effort, the city has only used $250 million.
She said on Wednesday that she hopes to give more.
“We probably need to put another billion in next year’s budget. We have to deal with the realities,” Hochul said at an unrelated press conference earlier on Wednesday.
She went on to suggest that the state has gone above its obligations to help, and added that she’s optimistic that the federal government will approve the use of Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.
But, if the current trend holds, federal aid is far off. Both city and state officials have been pressuring President Joe Biden and his administration to fast-track work permits for months.
A federal assessment team is on the ground to evaluate the situation, though it’s unclear how long that may take.