New York City Will No Longer Shelter Many Migrant Adults After 30 Days

New York’s longstanding legal obligation to provide shelter to homeless people will be scaled back significantly under a settlement agreement announced on Friday that was reached amid the city’s continuing struggle to house thousands of migrants.

To ease the burden on the city’s shelter system, adult migrants will be allowed to stay in shelters for only 30 days under the agreement, city officials said. After that, they will not be able to reapply for a bed, which they are currently allowed to do. Some would be allowed to stay longer if they meet certain conditions, including having a medical disability.

The changes to the so-called right-to-shelter requirement are a major shift in a policy that had set New York apart from all other big U.S. cities. In no other city must officials guarantee a bed to any homeless person who seeks one, something city officials have alternately taken pride in and fought against for decades.

The agreement, stemming from a state court case being overseen by Justice Gerald Lebovits, resolved months of negotiations between city officials and the plaintiffs in the original consent decree that established the right-to-shelter requirement, who are being represented by the Legal Aid Society.

The new rules are meant to apply temporarily to how the city responds to the migrant crisis, which has led nearly 190,000 migrants to pass through the city’s shelter system since the spring of 2022.

Under the agreement, younger adult migrants, between the ages of 18 and 23, would have up to 60 days in the shelter system before having to move out. Migrant families with children would not be affected, and can still stay in shelters for up to 60 days, with the option of reapplying, city officials said.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Camille Baker contributed reporting.

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