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“We Have People Right Here That Need The Space”: NYC Mayor Scraps Plan To Convert Luxury Building Into Migrant Shelter After Public Outcry

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has reversed course on a plan to convert an abandoned luxury apartment complex into a shelter for migrants, following strong opposition from the Harlem community.

Community Outcry

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Mayor Adams made a surprise appearance at a community meeting in Upper Manhattan where residents had gathered to voice their concerns about the rumored conversion of the building into housing for migrants.

The community, upset over the lack of communication, expressed frustration at being kept in the dark about the plans.

Background of the Building

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The luxury apartment complex, located on the corner of 130th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., has been vacant for around a decade after its developers defaulted on loans.

Originally designed as luxury housing, the building has remained unused despite its amenities, including a swimming pool.

Plans for Conversion

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The building was leased to a nonprofit organization that intended to collaborate with the city’s Department of Social Services/Homeless Services to repurpose it as either a shelter for migrants or for the city’s homeless population.

Residents became aware of the conversion plans upon seeing bunk beds being delivered to the building.

Community Concerns

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Residents, feeling ignored and frustrated by the lack of transparency, expressed their opposition to the conversion, particularly given the high poverty rate in the neighborhood.

We Have People Right Here

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Many argued that resources should be allocated to address the needs of the local homeless population rather than migrants.

“No, I don’t agree with it turning into a sanctuary for asylum seekers, knowing we have people right here that need the space,” said Tiffany Fulton, executive director of Silent Voices United Inc., a local nonprofit that works for underserved communities.

Mayor’s Response

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Facing mounting pressure from the community, Mayor Adams assured residents that migrants would not be housed in the building.

Instead, he pledged to use the facility to accommodate local homeless New Yorkers, acknowledging the long-term needs of the community.

Residents’ Reactions

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Despite the mayor’s reassurances, residents felt disrespected and voiced concerns about the proliferation of homeless shelters in the neighborhood.

Some residents advocated for the building to be utilized for affordable housing to address housing shortages in the area.

Public Statements

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Residents emphasized the need for affordable housing and expressed frustration over feeling sidelined in the decision-making process.

They highlighted the ongoing challenges of displacement and gentrification facing their community.

Ongoing Concerns

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While the immediate issue regarding the building’s conversion may have been resolved, the broader issues of housing affordability and homelessness persist in Harlem and other low-income neighborhoods across New York City.

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Credits: DepositPhotos