Legal Aid, Coalition for the Homeless Condemn Mayor Adams Over Executive Order 402, Which Needlessly Suspends Key Protections of Local Right to Shelter Laws for Homeless Families with Children

(NEW YORK, NY) – The Legal Aid Society and Coalition for the Homeless issued the following statement, condemning Mayor Eric Adams for Executive Order 402, which will suspend key protections of Right to Shelter laws for homeless families with children:

“Earlier tonight, Mayor Eric Adams signed Executive Order 402, which will suspend critical protections of New
York’s landmark Right to Shelter laws, as well as local tenant due process rights.

“For decades, Right to Shelter laws have protected people from immeasurable harm, including long-term New
Yorkers and new arrivals to our city.

“Executive Order 402 could force families with children to languish at the City’s intake facility for extended
periods of time, potentially days on end, prolonging suffering that no human being should experience.

“This order could potentially lead to the City regularly placing homeless families with children in congregate
settings, a dangerous and widely condemned practice of the distant past.

“We recognize the efforts from City staff to avoid putting people in harm’s way, but we’ve learned through
experience that congregate shelters put families and children at risk of communicable diseases and sexual assault, and they adversely impact mental health.

“These long-standing laws have served as sound policy, ensuring the humane treatment of families in need, but Mayor Adams is heading down a dangerous road.

“The City has other options, including implementing recommendations we have offered many times since last
summer to transition those residing in shelters to permanent housing, which will create much-needed shelter

“We are currently evaluating the executive order and considering all of our options, including litigation.”