Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso Rejects Weakening of Right-to-Shelter, Calls on the Mayor, City, and State to Advance Real Solutions to Housing and Shelter Crisis

Published by Office of the Brooklyn Borough President on

Reynoso Last Week Proposed Legal Pathways for the City Council and Mayor Adams to Compel Landlords to Lease Tens of Thousands of Vacant Apartments to the City at Market Rate to Address the Housing Crisis

Reynoso Also Called on Governor Hochul to Mandate Nearby Municipalities to Contribute Dignified Shelter for People Seeking Asylum

BROOKLYN, NY (May 25, 2023) – Today, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso issued the statement below rejecting Mayor Adams’ continued attacks on Right-to-Shelter and calling on the city and state to advance creative solutions for the housing and shelter crisis. Just last week, Borough President Reynoso proposed immediate legal opportunities for Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams, and the New York City Council to open up tens of thousands of apartments for New Yorkers living in city shelters and expand immediate and long-term housing opportunities in nearby municipalities – including inviting the Mayor to use Brooklyn Borough Hall as a HERRC.

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso today stated:

“Now is not the time to shrink from our responsibility to provide safe and dignified shelter for all in our city; rather we should be doubling down on the values of sanctuary and care that represent who we are. Standing firm requires that we reject any attempts to weaken Right-to-Shelter and instead demand that our leaders from the city to the state to the federal government advance creative solutions that can make a real dent in this housing crisis. Last week, I called on Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams, and our City Council to pursue legal opportunities that could open up tens of thousands of vacant, privately-owned apartments to people living in our shelters, make space in our shelters for people seeking asylum, and compel nearby municipalities to contribute beds as well. And that’s just what came out of my office – for years, advocates have proposed actionable ideas to address a city- and state-wide housing crisis that is anything but new:

  • “We can shorten the clock for a person to become eligible to move from a shelter into permanent housing down from the 90 days required right now – an action that City Council is currently pursuing but Mayor Adams indefensibly opposes.
  • “We can repair and lease NYCHA’s more than 3,500 apartments that sit empty because of Mayor Adams’ defunding of NYCHA’s Vacant Unit Readiness program and the 17.5% vacancy rate among positions dedicated to the maintenance of NYCHA’s heating systems, elevator operations, and safety services.
  • “And we can fund DHS staffing for administration of voucher programs, especially the people who assist shelter residents with finding permanent housing, expand eligibility for vouchers to undocumented people, and fund the NYC Commission on Human Rights, which enforces voucher discrimination.

“The point is: it’s all out there. Our people, our organizations, our agencies, our elected offices – if we work together, we can not only address the situation at hand but also transform how this city shows up for all New Yorkers. Rolling back Right-to-Shelter is not true to who we are as a city, and it’s unacceptable that the Mayor is pursuing this course of action. We must move forward with our minds set on solutions, on collaboration, and on fortifying all that makes our city a beacon for people around the world.”


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