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Mayor Eric Adams floats idea of homeowners with spare rooms taking in asylum seekers

Got a spare room for asylum seekers? New York City could pay you, too
Got a spare room for asylum seekers? New York City could pay you, too 02:01

NEW YORK -- With thousands of asylum seekers coming to New York City, Mayor Eric Adams is floating an interesting idea to help accommodate them.

Hizzoner says homeowners with a spare room could be paid to provide shelter.

"There are residents who are suffering right now because of economic challenges. They have spare rooms. It's cheaper and it's a good investment for us to go to a family and assist them instead of placing people in large congregate settings or in these emergency hotels," Adams said.

READ MORENew York City turns to houses of worship to shelter asylum seekers, Adams cites religious obligation to people in need

In the Woodlawn section of the Bronx, resident Allan Reese said he doesn't think the idea will fly.

"Uh huh, ha, good luck with that," Reese said.

CBS2 found a lot of skepticism, along with some support.

"Some people might go for it You know, why not? People open their hearts to people," said Martha Kelly of Woodlawn.

Sam Waniala, also of Woodlawn, said the private residence idea shows the mayor is running out of asylum housing options.

"He may be desperate, but I think he shouldn't do something because he's desperate -- so government interferes with our freedom or our security," Waniala said.

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

Surrounded by faith leaders, the mayor announce another initiative on Monday -- paying 50 churches and other faith-based locales to provide overnight shelter to about 1,000 asylum seekers.

"The very places where we offer prayer are the places where we need to offer sanctuary and shelter," said the Rev. Terry Troia of Project Hospitality.

The faith-based initiative is well underway and likely to roll out over the next few weeks. The idea of housing asylum seekers in private homes is still a work in progress and may require changes to state law.

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