Gov. Kathy Hochul agreed with Mayor Eric Adams on the need to suspend the right-to-shelter in New York City.

On Tuesday, a lawyer for Hochul filed a letter siding with the city’s request. The letter argues the mandate is placing a burden on the city it can’t meet.

“Despite unprecedented resources deployed by the city and the state to assist the newly arrived migrants, the current situation is not sustainable. The state defendants agree that flexibility is imperative to address the surge of migrant arrivals,” said the letter filed on behalf of New York state.

What You Need To Know

  • Gov. Kathy Hochul has sided with Mayor Eric Adams that the right-to-shelter should be suspended

  • The latest filing is part of an ongoing court case in which the city is looking to temporarily halt the right to shelter for single migrants amid the ongoing influx

  • Homeless advocates, like the Legal Aid Society, are fighting against the change, arguing it would hurt vulnerable New Yorkers and claiming the city hasn't exhausted all of its resources

The lawyer cited a significant increase in migrants, over 1,500 a week, as a sign the crisis is only worsening.

The Legal Aid Society, which is representing homeless people in the case, filed a response to the city’s request late Wednesday, asking the court to engage all parties in mediation. The group argues that any change will harm migrants and vulnerable New Yorkers.

“People will continue to come to New York and if we don’t provide a place for them to go, they will be out on the streets, in the parks, in the subways in dangerous situations,” said Staff Attorney Josh Goldfein of the Legal Aid Society.

Goldfein said that the Temporary Protected Status granted to Venezuelans, among other strategies, needs time to yield results.

In their court response, the group said the state and city need to be supervised by the court to ensure they are following through on their plans to deal with the crisis. Those plans include resettling New Yorkers, using all the city’s available sites, including those offered by the state and the federal government and intensifying case management to get migrants out of the city’s shelter system.

“We’ve been doing TPS, we’ve got clinics that we’re setting up. We’ve done work authorizations, thousands of them to help people move on with the assistance of the federal government. These are the tools we need to solve this problem,” said Goldfein.

Earlier in the day, homeless advocates and elected officials rallied in front of Hochul’s Manhattan office, calling for a statewide right-to-shelter and a comprehensive housing plan.

Hochul has strongly opposed the argument that the right-to-shelter applies statewide, even though the state was an original defendant in the case and a state article was the basis for the consent decree.

“Governor Hochul stand up, be strong. Show courage. Right-to-shelter is something that we need,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. “What is happening is that you are failing to make this a statewide right. You are failing to make sure everybody does their part across the state."

“Our vision is not that those who need it can be in a shelter and then stay in that shelter. Our vision is a long-term solution so that every single New Yorkers has a place to call home,” said Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani at the rally.

More than 118,00 migrants have come to the city, about 40% of them Venezuelans. About 63,000 are currently in the city’s care.

The city has spent about $2 billion on providing shelter and food to new arrivals.