From the outside, it appeared to be a local furniture store. Inside, dozens of migrants from West Africa slept there, instead of a city shelter.

Inspectors went inside a furniture store in Richmond Hill, Queens on Monday night and discovered at least 70 migrants had been sleeping there.

Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday, the city handled the case properly.

What You Need To Know

  • The mayor’s weekly Q&A session with reporters was dominated by questions about the migrant crisis

  • Adams was asked about a local furniture that was housing migrants in Queens

  • The mayor said people should not live in unsafe environments

“The system did its job. It was first responded by FDNY and then I believe DOB [Department of Buildings] came in and made sure those who were there were removed and given the services that were available,” Adams said at a news briefing.

City agencies are now investigating how and why a commercial space was converted into housing for over 70 men.

Adams believes the case highlights two critical city issues: the migrant crisis and the housing crisis.

“We have to build more. We have an inventory situation in this city,” he said.

Several migrants who once slept at the furniture store told NY1 they preferred sleeping there over the city’s shelter system, which requires them to re-apply for housing every 30 days.

City Hall defended the policy. Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom told reporters Tuesday that the city works to connect migrants with community-based organizations.

“There are many moments during that 60-day period, or that 30-day period of time,” she said. “We’re having constant conversation.”