Williams' Statement On The Legal Aid Society Lawsuit To Stop Relocation Of Hotel Residents To Congregate Shelters

July 14th, 2021

Press Release

NEW YORK: Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams released the following statement as the Legal Aid Society's lawsuit to stop the mass relocation of hotel residents to congregate shelters had its first hearing in federal court today.

"I applaud and support the Legal Aid Society in their efforts to prevent the mass and immediate relocation of thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers from hotels to congregate shelters. Naturally, as we continue the recovery efforts from COVID-19, many of the emergency measures put in place will be rescinded - but in moving forward, we cannot return to the strategies and spaces of the past. 

"As variants still circulate and vaccination rates remain stubbornly stagnant, it's vital to ensure the health and safety of vulnerable New Yorkers - which hotel spaces are largely protecting and which congregate shelters largely cannot. In this moment, these would-be vacant hotel spaces are most crucial in their current capacity. The administration's commitment to uprooting and shuffling shelter residents around the city, including defending those practices in court, undercuts its stated commitment to progress on these issues.

"As part of a Renewed Deal for New York's recovery, every effort should be made to move vulnerable unhoused New Yorkers into permanent housing, rather than relying on stopgap short-term measures that conceal, rather than confront, the housing and homelessness crisis in our city."

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