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Mayor Eric Adams calls on Albany to pass measures he says will help build 100,000 affordable housing units

Is affordable housing plan the key to asylum seekers' future?
Is affordable housing plan the key to asylum seekers' future? 02:15

NEW YORK -- Mayor Eric Adams is demanding the state Legislature pass a plan that he says will lead to more affordable housing. 

As CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Thursday, it could impact where asylum seekers are sheltered.

An empty lot in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn could be a small piece of the solution to the city's housing crisis: A $200 million, 300-apartment complex, including 75 so-called affordable units that could shelter the homeless or house asylum seekers that could be built if Albany lawmakers help out by approving a tax abatement law. 

"We need action now," Adams said. 

Desperate for housing, Adams asked lawmakers to approve a package of bills that could help create 100,000 units of affordable housing. 

This comes as the city appears to be getting ready to use a hangar at John F. Kennedy International Airport to house over 800 asylum seekers. Chopper 2 found several trailers with showers and bathrooms outside the sprawling warehouse. A spokesman for Gov. Kathy Hochul said the move is awaiting FAA approval. 

Meanwhile, standing with union leaders and housing advocates, the mayor outlined the steps he wants lawmakers to take. Bills to: 

  • Provide tax abatements to developers to build affordable housing
  • Lessen the requirements for converting office space into apartments
  • Make it easier to convert basements and cellars into legal accomodations

"The table is set. It's now time for Albany to serve the right meal, and that right meal is a combined housing plan," Adams said. 

Adding to the problem, New York City is now on track to receive a small fraction -- less than $40 million -- out of an $800 million pot of emergency funding from FEMA to cope with asylum seekers. The mayor and the budget director said it may force the city to cut services. 

"It's a scary proposition," budget director Jacques Jiha said. "So far, as of the end of April, we spent $1 billion and are expecting to spend $1.4 billion this fiscal year, and about $2.9 billion by next fiscal year." 

"Every service in the city is going to be impacted by this asylum and migrant crisis," Adams said. 

The mayor and the city council have to agree on a new budget by the end of the month. 

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