October 3, 2023
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today released the following statement after the City of New York filed a revised application in court to modify the 1981 consent decree in Callahan v. Carey related to the city’s Right to Shelter law:
“Today, in accordance with the judge’s request, our lawyers filed a revised application to seek relief from Callahan. As we have said before, the Callahan decree — entered over 40 years ago, when the shelter population was a fraction of its current size — was never intended to apply to the extraordinary circumstances our city faces today. With more than 122,700 asylum seekers having come through our intake system since the spring of 2022, and projected costs of over $12 billion for three years, it is abundantly clear that the status quo cannot continue. We must be flexible to respond to this crisis effectively and continue to lead with the compassion and care we have consistently shown those arriving here.
“To be very clear, the city is not seeking to terminate Callahan; we are simply asking for the city’s obligations to be aligned with those of the rest of the state during states of emergency. For more than a year now, New York City has shouldered the burden of this national crisis largely alone. We have opened more than 210 emergency sites, have spent more than $2 billion to date, and expect to spend $5 billion by the end of this fiscal year without significant and timely help from our state and federal partners. And throughout this crisis, not a single family with children has been forced to sleep on the streets. But as we have said repeatedly, with upwards of 10,000 asylum seekers continuing to arrive every month, New York City cannot continue to do this alone.”