Mayor Adams scrambles to find shelter for migrants including several major landmarks

The managed decay of American sovereignty sunk to new lows this week as the once flourishing Big Apple scrambled to designate new spaces to shelter so-called “asylum-seekers,” including some major landmarks.

With Title 42 scheduled to expire Thursday, President Joe Biden’s administration wasn’t alone in hastily responding to the ever-growing crisis at the southern border. As federal agencies authorized the deployment of 1,500 U.S. troops to alleviate the strain on Border Patrol agents, New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) implored property owners throughout the five boroughs to help manage the self-inflicted problem by offering up their prime real estate.

The sanctuary city scheme was said to include potentially utilizing tents in spaces like Central Park, Prospect Park and the parking lot of Citi Field, airplane hangers at John F. Kennedy International Airport and the currently vacant Flatiron Building, according to The New York Times.

The Times spoke with Jeff Gural, an owner of the Flatiron, who had shot down the idea of using the 22-story skyscraper as a makeshift encampment.

“There’s no bathrooms, there’s no heat, the building’s been gutted,” he explained of the 1902 landmark building that had been bought at auction for $190 million in March.

As previously reported, efforts to locate new spaces to house aliens had resulted in adult males bunking up alongside children nearby at the former NYPD academy gym. While City Hall worked to resolve that problem by attempting to bus some of the men to a neighboring county, Adams’ chief of staff Camille Joseph Varlack had issued a memo to city agencies.

“With more asylum-seekers arriving daily, this influx has pushed our shelter system to a breaking point and we need to create emergency temporary sites,” she wrote. “We ask that city agencies conduct an internal review of any properties or spaces in your portfolio that may be available to be repurposed to house asylum-seekers as temporary shelter spaces. If there is current programming please include programming that is.”

The deadline for responses had been set for 5 p.m. Monday, the same day that meeting of officials had been scrambled together wherein the aid of leaders from New York real estate had been sought.

Seeking spaces of at least 10,000 square feet that have running water and “no known health hazards,” Jim Whelan, the president of the Real Estate Board of New York told the Times, “I think they and different owners are going to take a look at that.”

Representing most of the major landlords in the city, Whelan noted, “It’s not easy to do.”

Meanwhile, the New York Post reported that New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) was working with Adams and had stretched the search for shelter space beyond the city to include state-owned property while “talking to other counties that are interested in having people come.”

The Department of Homeless Services was reportedly operating 126 emergency shelters throughout the city already, including out of hotels, and estimates project a cost of more than $4.3 billion for 2023 and 2024.

Kevin Haggerty


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