New York, NY—Today, news broke that the Adams administration is ordering some city agencies to slash their budgets by an additional 4% on top of cuts implemented last year. Budget Director Jacques Jiha wrote in a letter to agency heads that these cuts, known as Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEGs), would be part of the Mayor’s executive budget to come out later this spring. Among other factors, the letter identifies the arrival of asylum seekers in NYC as a major reason for the PEGs.
Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:
“Once again, Mayor Adams’ math remains murky. His announcement of another fiscal crisis before the State budget is finalized or even the aid from the Federal Government to the City has been received is simply premature and irresponsible. Yet, he continues to scapegoat asylum seekers for austerity measures that are essentially a result of his administration’s failures and decisions to use costly, temporary measures instead of more affordable, permanent ones. Immigrant rights and housing advocates have been repeatedly calling for the need to move individuals and families from the costly HERRCs and shelters to more permanent housing — one simple step that would go far in helping to resolve both New York City’s housing and budget crises. This can happen by eliminating the 90-day waiting period for housing vouchers, and expanding eligibility to individuals and families regardless of immigration status for the CityFHEPS and other voucher programs. We are calling on the Adams administration to work with the NYC Council and advocates, like ourselves, to create a City budget that focuses on delivering aid to all New Yorkers, while implementing long-term solutions to ensure the health and well-being of our communities, the Mayor’s budget, and our economy.”