Mayor Eric Adams Faces Backlash for Failing to Implement Housing Voucher Program, Defying City Council’s Deadline

NEW YORK CITY – Last summer, the City Council and Mayor Eric Adams became entangled in a fierce battle over the expansion of the City’s housing voucher program. The City Council approved a package of bills that would extend eligibility to income-qualified families facing eviction. However, Adams vetoed these bills, citing their high cost. The City Council ultimately overrode his veto.

One of the key changes in the voucher program is the extension of eligibility to families facing eviction who have not yet entered the shelter system. These changes were set to be implemented by January 9th. However, according to City Limits’ Emma Whitford, the Adams administration has chosen to ignore this deadline and has no plans to implement the laws passed by the City Council.

In a response to Deputy Council Speaker Diana Ayala, Department of Social Services Commissioner Molly Park confirmed that three out of the four bills are not on the administration’s agenda. These bills aim to reform the City Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement voucher program, known as CityFHEPS. Park stated that the laws “cannot be implemented at this time” due to significant financial, operational, and legal issues.

Adams did implement one change that he supported, which was the removal of the 90-day shelter stay requirement before qualifying for a voucher. However, the City Council is concerned about the administration’s refusal to implement the other changes. A City Council spokesperson pointed out that the mayor has a responsibility to comply with all local laws and stated that the administration’s actions might lead to legal action being taken against the mayor.

It is alarming that the mayor can disregard laws he opposes. The City Council and those affected by homelessness are calling on Adams to uphold the laws and ensure that New Yorkers have access to housing vouchers as intended.

In summary, New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams is refusing to implement new laws passed by the City Council that would expand the housing voucher program. While one change supported by Adams has been implemented, the administration is neglecting to carry out the other reforms. This has raised concerns among City Council members, who argue that the mayor must comply with local laws and warn that legal action may be taken against him if he continues to obstruct access to housing vouchers for those in need.