Blue State Creates “Bill of Rights” For Who?

Photo by Mike C. Valdivia on Unsplash

NYC Mayor Adams has allowed the City Council’s measure, “Homeless Bill of Rights” to convert into law. The bill is going to provide additional legal protection to the homeless in the city that is already having trouble handling the high numbers of people who are looking for access to their shelters.

The measure had originally passed In April with bipartisan support, at a time when the city’s shelters had been flooded by the 70,000 migrants who had arrived in the city. This new law specifically acknowledged that people have the right to sleep in public areas, but not in any place they like. The City of New York already has other laws that limit where the unhoused are allowed to sleep within the city.

Police are also allowed to clear streets and sidewalks of anyone that could be blocking the passing traffic, and the city parks generally close at 1 a.m. The law also provides people with the right to complain about the accommodations provided in shelters without fearing facing any repercussions.

Other provisions in the measure also give people the right to apply for rental assistance and would require that parents staying in shelters with their babies be provided with diapers. The main sponsor of the bill is Jumaane Williams, NYC’s elected public advocate , who has claimed that this measure was essential for ensuring those in shelters are treated fairly and respectfully.

Finally, the new law established that New Yorkers have a right to shelter, which was mandated in 1981 that has been in place since when a court ruled that the city must provide temporary housing to anyone who asks for it.