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NYC expending $387 daily per migrant as Mayor Eric Adams tries to reduce costs amidst arrival of almost 65K

Mayor Eric Adams tries to reduce costs

Mayor Eric Adams tries to reduce costs.In recent years, New York City has grappled with the significant financial burden of housing migrant households in taxpayer-funded shelters. The latest data from City Hall reveals that the city is spending an average of $387 per day to accommodate a single migrant household.

“This figure, known as the “cumulative per diem,” represents the total amount the city has expended to house and feed each migrant household on a daily basis since the onset of the crisis in spring 2022,” a report cited.

The daily cost has exhibited a gradual decline, albeit modest, as the city endeavors to reduce spending on asylum-seeker accommodations amidst the ongoing crisis. With approximately 64,800 migrants under its care as of last week, the February 2024 average of $387 represents a $5 decrease from October 2023. The downward trend began to materialize in November 2023, with the cumulative average dropping to $391, followed by further reductions to $390 in December and $388 in January.

City Hall attributes this decline to cost-cutting measures implemented by Mayor Eric Adams’ administration. Facing a crisis that is projected to strain the city’s finances by $10 billion through the next fiscal year, Mayor Adams has taken decisive action to mitigate expenditures related to the migrant crisis.

Notably, he directed all city agencies to reduce spending by an initial 5% in November, followed by an additional 5% in January. However, in a surprising turn of events, Mayor Adams opted to cancel a third round of anticipated 5% cuts last month, citing better-than-expected revenue and ongoing reductions in migrant spending.

The administration’s efforts to rein in costs have resulted in revised forecasts for future expenditures. City Hall now anticipates that the average daily cost of sheltering asylum seekers will amount to $386 for the 2024 fiscal year, with further reductions projected for FY25 to $352.

These forecasts are contingent upon the successful implementation of the administration’s strategy to manage the population in its care and continue lowering per-diem costs. Nevertheless, City Hall remains committed to advocating for additional support from state and federal partners to alleviate the financial strain.

Despite the gradual decrease in per diem costs, it’s important to note that housing migrant households remain considerably more expensive than providing shelter for the homeless population. Department of Social Services commissioner Molly Wasow Park addressed this stark contrast during a City Council budget hearing. She attributed the higher costs associated with housing asylum seekers to the substantial expense of utilizing commercial hotels for sheltering purposes.

Indeed, commercial hotels represent a significant portion of the city’s expenditure on migrant accommodations. While they offer a temporary solution for housing asylum seekers, their use comes at a steep price. The cost of leasing hotel rooms, coupled with expenses for meals and other essential services, contributes to the overall financial burden borne by the city.

Efforts to explore alternative housing options for migrants have been met with challenges. The shortage of affordable housing units in New York City exacerbates the difficulty of finding suitable accommodations for asylum seekers. Additionally, logistical constraints and regulatory requirements pose further obstacles to establishing more cost-effective solutions.

“In the last two months, Mayor Adams has laid out plans to save billions of taxpayer dollars as New York City manages a national humanitarian crisis, and the numbers show that our efforts are working,” a City Hall spokesperson told The Post Tuesday, adding that “we expect to save $2.3 billion by next summer.”


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