Adams Releases $111.6B Budget That Avoids Major Cuts

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams aims to capitalize on windfalls the city has seen over the past two years of his administration with his new budget, though it’s light on specifics regarding what’s next for some of the most contentious issues New Yorkers face. 

Adams released his $111.6 billion executive budget proposal for fiscal year 2025 on Wednesday afternoon. It focuses on improving public safety, strengthening the local economy, and “making the city more livable for working class people,” Adams said during his announcement. 

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Some of those programs include increased funding for more New York Police Department classes this year — with 2,400 new officers expected by the end of 2024 — and wiping out billions of dollars in medical debt for qualifying low-income New Yorkers. Meanwhile, conservative fiscal management of city programs and better-than-expected revenues were also touted by Adams as stabilizing the city’s budget in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also says they allow the city to avoid tax increases, layoffs or major service cuts previously proposed.

“The fiscal year 2025 budget reflects this can-do spirit, reflects our core values and what we can accomplish with strong fiscal management and committed leadership,” Adams said. 

The budget also increases city spending from the $109.4 billion one Adams initially proposed in January.

Yet, New York’s ongoing migrant crisis is still top of mind, with the city caring for nearly 200,000 asylum seekers since spring 2022, and still caring for more than 65,000 at the moment. 

Adams said that the cost of asylum seekers to the city will rise to almost $10 billion over fiscal years 2023 to 2025. While he acknowledged the $3.1 billion in direct commitments from New York State’s recently passed budget to assist with the crisis, Adams called on the federal government to contribute far more than the roughly $200 million it has allocated so far. In the meantime, Adams has opted to cut asylum seeker spending by 30 percent, or nearly $600 million, over fiscal years 2024 and 2025. That’s in addition to the $1.7 billion in migrant funding previously cut in the preliminary FY 2025 budget. 

In terms of housing, Adams announced $615 million in funding toward combating family homelessness as well as an eviction prevention program — known as City Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (CityFHEPS) which is a housing voucher program — over the next fiscal year to help keep low-income residents housed.

Adams also touted the financing of nearly 28,000 new affordable units over the calendar year, the most in the city’s history, as well as proposed state funding toward the goal of building 500,000 affordable homes by 2033, but it was not immediately clear how much money will be set aside for these initiatives. 

Nick Trombola can be reached at ntrombola@commercialobserver.com. Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.