How Much Did It Cost NYC? – NBC New York

How much taxpayer money did New York City spend on emergency housing for asylum seekers, specifically at two controversial facilities that turned out to be short-lived? City Comptroller Brad Lander wants to know.

After Mayor Eric Adams announced the plan to shut down the migrant relief center on Randall’s Island, Lander is asking the administration for a detailed report outlining the cost for not only that location, but also the initial welcome center at Orchard Beach in the Bronx.

The Randall’s Island facility, which included a huge white tent with 500 beds inside, is closing this week, less than a month after it opened. A bus could be seen alongside the facility on Tuesday as immigrants seeking asylum were heading toward it, assisted by the National Guard. Their next stop: a Manhattan hotel.

“Many of the individuals that were staying at Randalls Island will be moved if they wish to our hotel humanitarian centers,” said Manuel Castro, the city’s Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs.

Castro said that the pace of migrant arrivals has dropped dramatically. Just weeks ago, the state of Texas in particular was sending bus after bus to the city, sometimes eight or nine buses a day — frequently unannounced.

“That’s very different now. We are seeing a couple buses a week, yes,” Castro said.

But the city has yet to disclose a clear dollar figure on how much the Adams administration has spent responding to the migration crisis. Lander — whose job is to review city spending — remains skeptical of the initial figure released by City Hall, which was $650,000.

“We want to know what the cost was to set up on Orchard Beach, which they then took down and set up on Randall’s Island,” Lander said.

Some are celebrating the closing of the Randall’s Island migrant relief center, hoping for more appropriate housing options, Erica Byfield reports.

He wrote a letter giving Adams until Wednesday to “provide my office with a detailed accounting of the costs.” He said he thinks it could be much, much higher than the city has led on.

“I think it will have been several million dollars to put up two tents. A lot of people thought it was a mistake and we didn’t need,” Lander said.

On Monday, Adams sounded annoyed that his fellow Brooklynite had elevated the spending issue so publicly.

“He sent a letter on Friday and then he’s talking about it like it was a week ago. C’mon!” the mayor said at a press conference. “I’m hoping this doesn’t turn out like the previous controller-mayor relationship. Let’s work together. C’mon, Brad!”

Meanwhile, another bus of asylum seekers left Texas on Tuesday for Philadelphia — just days after Pennsylvania elected a Democratic governor and senator.

As for New York, the state comptroller said the city is banking on $1 billion in federal relief for the migrant shelter program — money that has not yet been approved. The comptroller says that adds economic risk.

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