NYC's ‘right to shelter’ for migrant adults now ends after 30 days

New York City is effectively ending its sweeping "right to shelter" provision for migrant adults, according to a new settlement, as the city's humanitarian crisis with the influx of asylum seekers enters year two.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless reached an agreement Friday that limits how many single adult migrants can reapply for a shelter bed after their 30-day shelter limit is up, FOX 5 NY's Morgan McKay reports.

"We have been clear since day one that the right to shelter was never intended to apply to large-scale migrant populations arriving without housing or legal work status," Adams said in a recorded video announcing the settlement.

The city’s unique right-to-shelter mandate, in place since 1981, guarantees emergency housing for homeless people, but the large influx of migrants has overwhelmed the NYC shelter system.

More than 183,000 migrants have arrived since the spring of 2022, according to city officials. For the past 10 months, the mayor’s administration has been seeking relief to this mandate in court as it applies to migrants.

Friday's settlement will take effect immediately, and all newly arriving migrants will still receive a shelter bed for 30 days -- but after those 30 days, only migrants with extenuating circumstances can reapply for a bed. 

Migrants needing a bed after 30 days will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and they must show they are making a good-faith effort to find alternative housing. Single adults under the age of 23 will be allowed to stay in a shelter for 60 days. 

"This settlement safeguards the right to shelter in the consent decree, ensuring single adults’ - both long-time New Yorkers and new arrivals - access to shelter, basic necessities and case management to transition from shelter to housing in the community," said attorney Adriene Holder for The Legal Aid Society in a statement.

This settlement will not impact the current 60-day shelter limit that is in place for migrant families. This will also not impact homeless New Yorkers. 

Map of known NYC migrant shelters (working)

FOX 5 NY is tracking known migrant shelters in NYC. This map will continue to be updated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.