FILE PHOTO: Athletics – New York Metropolis Marathon – New York, United States – November 3, 2019 New York Metropolis Mayor Invoice de Blasio speaks earlier than the beginning of the lads’s race REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Newark Mayor Ras Baraka’s administration has sued New York Mayor Invoice de Blasio, accusing the guy Democrat of dumping his metropolis’s inhabitants of homeless folks on New Jersey’s largest metropolis.
The lawsuit naming the town of New York, its mayor and his homelessness czar, Steven Banks, accuses the de Blasio administration’s Particular One-Time Help, or SOTA, program of utilizing strong-arm techniques to ship folks throughout the Hudson River to discover a place to stay.
“This case issues an illegal program of ‘coerced’ migration,” Newark legal professionals say in courtroom paperwork filed in U.S. District Court docket in New Jersey on Monday.
New York Metropolis officers are accused of “forcing SOTA recipients to simply accept the proverbial ‘provide they’ll’t refuse,’” the paperwork stated, explaining that the phrase from the 1972 American Mafia movie “The Godfather” is “actually a command, ‘Do what we are saying or else.’”
The lawsuit accuses New York of violating federal commerce legal guidelines. It cites a number of former New York shelter residents who had been hustled by excursions of New Jersey flats and pressured to shortly commit to 1, with the SOTA Program paying landlords a full yr’s lease up entrance.
“She was advised by case managers in her shelter that she ought to look in New Jersey, within the cities of Newark or Paterson, as a result of New York landlords had been leery of the SOTA program and since she would discover one thing faster in New Jersey,” Newark’s legal professionals stated in courtroom filings.
The de Blasio administration didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Baraka, Newark’s mayor since 2014 and the son of poet and African-American activist Amiri Baraka, and de Blasio, a former Democratic presidential candidate who touts himself as a progressive, appeared collectively in Newark final yr to announce a tenant initiative aimed toward preserving folks of their properties, partly by ending unlawful evictions. The New Jersey program was modeled after one in New York Metropolis and each mayors praised each other for pursuing the initiatives.
The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness – over 63,000 homeless males, ladies and youngsters – spend the evening as an alternative inside the metropolis’s shelter system the place they continue to be unseen, based on The Bowery Mission nonprofit group. In a metropolis of 8.5 million folks, almost one in each 121 New Yorkers is at present homeless.
Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Modifying by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis