May 30, 2023
NYC isn’t expecting any more federal aid for migrant crisis this fiscal year as total tab tops $650M

NYC isn’t expecting any more federal aid for migrant crisis this fiscal year as total tab tops $650M

Mayor Adams’ administration does not expect to receive any more migrant crisis-related aid from the federal government this fiscal year — even as the city’s tab for the ongoing emergency nears $1 billion, a top Adams adviser said Monday.

In December, Congress created an $800 million fund that’s supposed to help cities across the U.S. bankroll housing and services for the tens of thousands of mostly Latin American migrants who have arrived since last spring.

It remains unclear how much of that money is slated for New York, but Jacques Jiha, Adams’ budget director, said at a City Council hearing Monday morning that his team hasn’t even gotten instructions yet from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on how to apply for the cash.

“They haven’t set up the program yet, so we have to wait,” he said.

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Given that the wheels of the federal government tend to grind slowly, Jiha said it’s as a result “unlikely that we get any resources this fiscal year.”

The fiscal year runs through July 1, and the Adams administration has so far only gotten about $8 million from the feds to help shelter and provide services for migrants.

Spokespeople for FEMA, which is tasked with managing the $800 million fund, did not immediately return requests for comment.

Mayor Adams greets asylum seekers arriving in New York City from Texas last year.

While the feds are apparently missing in action, the city’s migrant crisis costs continue to balloon, Jiha said.

As of the end of February, he said the administration had shelled out $654 million on housing, feeding and providing services for newly-arrived migrants, most of whom are fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries in hopes of securing asylum in the U.S.

Migrants arrive on a bus at the Port Authority from Texas Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, in Manhattan New York.

As of last week, there were more than 30,000 asylum seekers in the city’s care. Jiha said housing and feeding them is costing the city some $150 million every month.

According to projections from Adams’ administration, the city could spend as much as $1.4 billion on the migrant crisis this fiscal year. It could spend another $2.8 billion next fiscal year, the projections say.

The mayor has stressed that he may be forced to cut some public services if the feds and Gov. Hochul’s administration don’t soon start helping the city with shouldering the financial burden of the crisis — a point Jiha underscored at Monday’s hearing.

“This is not a joke,” he said. “This is real.”

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