New York will limit stay of migrants in shelters 0:47
(CNN) -- Single adult migrants living in New York City's emergency shelters will have two months to find housing before the city forces them to evict, according to a new rule announced by Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday.
"We've reached maximum capacity," Adams said during a news conference at City Hall. "That full capacity was verbalized. And now, New Yorkers, it will be visually updated."
The city will begin handing out 60-day eviction notices to men and women currently in the city's emergency shelter network as the city struggles to make room for families with children.
The rule will take effect in "the coming days" and will take place "on an ongoing basis," according to a city official with knowledge of the plan.
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As part of the new rule, Adams said the city will work to connect immigrants with social workers to help them connect with friends and family or help them find other housing options.
The policy change comes as the city struggles to house thousands of immigrants who have arrived in the city in record numbers since last spring.
According to a City Hall announcement, there are an average of 300 to 500 people arriving every day and more than 54,800 migrants are currently under the city's care even though crossings at the southern border steadily declined in recent months.
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Adams said the city's shelter system is full and blamed a lack of state or federal aid for the rule change.
"We don't have any more space in the city," Adams said. "We need help from the federal government. We've made it very clear that we need to allow asylum seekers to work, we need financial support from the federal government, and we need to make sure there's a real decompression strategy across the country."
Once they receive the 60-day notice, adult migrants will be able to reapply for shelter at an arrival centre, although that does not guarantee they will get accommodation at a city shelter on the same day. Adams said the city will also work with southern border cities to distribute fliers designed to deter immigrants from coming to New York City.
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In a joint statement, the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless said the policy change raises legal questions.
"As prescribed by the New York State constitution, multiple court orders, and local laws, both the state and city have a legal obligation to ensure that people who lack shelter are safe and protected from exposure to the elements," the two groups said.
New York is one of the few cities in the country that provides the right to housing to anyone who might need it, and Adams has sought to override that requirement.
The Adams administration is currently in a legal battle to suspend the right to housing law whenever the city determines it cannot cover the cost.
Meanwhile, more than 100,000 people spend the night in city shelters; The number increased significantly in the past year following a surge in immigrant arrivals, as well as record rents, a limited stock of affordable housing and evictions.
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