The city is facing a budget gap of $7 billion, driven mostly, Mayor Eric Adams has said, by the costs to house and feed asylum seekers.

Adams continues to blame a lack of federal funding in the face of the influx.

“We were saddled with picking up the costs of the asylum seekers. You talk about defunding. Our national government defunded New York City,” said Adams on Tuesday.  

What You Need To Know

  • Mayor Eric Adams acknowledged that New Yorkers are "angry," but once again blamed the cuts on a lack of federal aid amid the migrant influx

  • City Hall said they plan to cut migrant costs by 20% over the next two fiscal years focusing on legal services versus shelter stays

  • Officials said over 145,000 asylum seekers have come to the city with more than 66,000 in the city's care

Last week, the mayor’s administration unveiled widespread 5% budget cuts that affected many city agencies, including the police, fire, sanitation and education departments.

Some New Yorkers have been reeling since the news broke.

“I know New Yorkers are angry when they hear about these efficiency cuts, but New Yorkers, I want you to know I’m angry also,” said the mayor. “Instead of doing a budget I’m excited about doing, we are going in the other direction and look at these very cost savings to continue to have our city operate.”

Many parents and school officials have pushed back against education cuts that will impact summer programs for middle schools and thousands of universal pre-k seats.

Adams said the city was paying for unused slots.  

“Under the previous administration, we were paying for seats, not for children in seats,” said Adams.

But the mayor insisted no child will go without a proper education. The city plans to do more outreach and adjust the need for pre-K seats to match the funding levels.

“What we are saying to our city councilmembers and partners is. Here is your council district. Here’s how many seats are open in your council district. Let’s go find the children so we can place them in the seats,” the mayor said in describing how the city is hoping to change how the city handles pre-k seats.  

The city has spent nearly $2 billion on the migrant crisis.

The state has promised around $2 billion toward the effort, but Gov. Kathy Hochul said future aid will be lower.

The city’s budget director acknowledged the change on Tuesday.

“In the memo issued by the state budget director that the state will be moving away from funding shelter into funding things such as job placement, and legal services,” said Jaques Jiha, director of the mayor’s Office of Management and Budget.

Shelter costs for migrants are topping $400 a night. City officials are planning to cut these costs by 20% for the next two fiscal years. 

Adams said the city will work to keep families and children from being on the streets, while also suggesting some migrants are open to living outside of shelters.

“The visible signs of this crisis are going to start showing itself,” said Adams, warning of what is to come. “Believe it or not, there are migrants and asylum seekers who are saying we want to sleep on the streets.”

The city’s right to shelter law mandates the city provide a bed to anyone in need.

The next round of budget cuts will be in January at the same 5% level. However, some exceptions to the slashing will include the NYPD, sanitation and more.