Mayor Adams cancels next round of NYC budget cuts but will slash migrant spending

NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams called off a plan Wednesday to cut all city agency budgets by 5% this spring — but also announced he’s going to slash nearly $600 million in projected spending on housing and services for newly arrived migrants.

Under a plan first rolled out by City Hall in fall 2023, all agencies were supposed to face 5% budget reductions in April — on top of two previous rounds of 5% cuts in November and January — in order to offset costs associated with caring for the migrants.

But in a statement Wednesday afternoon, the mayor said he’s canceling the April cuts thanks to “better-than-expected” city tax revenues in 2023 as well as a 20% reduction in projected migrant crisis spending he ordered last year. The improved revenues previously prompted Adams to call off some of the January cuts, too, including for the NYPD.

Still, Adams said Wednesday the city is “not yet out of the woods” as hundreds of mostly Latin American migrants continue to arrive every week.

“We still need Albany and Washington, D.C., to play their roles in providing New Yorkers with additional support,” he said in his statement.

Though he’s backing off the April cuts, the mayor said he’s moving ahead with a new 10% reduction in planned spending on housing and services for migrants over the current 2024 fiscal year and the next 2025 fiscal year, which starts July 1.

Over that span, the Adams administration has projected the city will spend about $5.8 billion on the migrant crisis.

With the new 10% belt-tightening order, that means the administration must figure out a way to trim that price-tag by about $586 million. Adams’ statement didn’t share details on how exactly his administration will be able to achieve that spending reduction target.

His office said the administration is on track to achieve the last 20% reduction in projected spending by shifting away from for-profit contractors for migrant-related services and outsourcing them to non-profits instead.

The mayor and his team have also credited the cost re-estimate to the administration’s controversial 60- and 30-day notice policies, which limit how long migrants, including families with children, can consecutively stay in a city shelter.