Lack of federal funding for migrants will affect NYC budget hole: official
New York City is bracing itself for a shortfall of emergency funding from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) in the wake of the migrant crisis. Jacques Jiha, the city’s Office of Management and Budget Director, predicted that the city would receive less than $40m in additional funding. He stated that despite an initial federal government allocation of $800m, the city would not receive more than 10% of the second tranche of funding. Jiha admitted that the city’s finance hole “gets bigger and bigger” as a result. Since December 2020, the city has received just $38.5m from FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Funding is expected from another allocation within coming months, but this is predicted to fall far short of the $1.4bn that the city estimates needs to be spent by 30 June 2022. This cost is predicted to increase to $4.3bn by June 2024 as the crisis continues.
What is FEMA and what does it do?
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) is an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security responsible for coordinating government response to disasters that overwhelm state resources.
What is the Migrant Crisis?
The Migrant Crisis refers to the surge in immigrants arriving in the United States seeking political asylum from their countries of origin.
What is the Emergency Food and Shelter Programme?
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program provides assistance to Americans with food, shelter, and supportive services. The program is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Why is New York City predicted to receive less than $40m in additional funding?
Despite a $800m federal government allocation for the country as a whole, the city is not expected to receive more than 10% of the second tranche of this funding, leaving a shortfall in emergency funding for the city. The shortfall will have a significant impact on the services provided to migrant populations by the city.
Official states that NYC budget deficit will be affected by absence of federal funding for migrants.
New York City is facing the grim reality of receiving less than $40 million in additional emergency funding from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) due to the migrant crisis, according to the city’s budget chief, Jacques Jiha. During a panel discussion with the fiscal watchdog group, the Citizens Budget Commission, Jiha predicted that the city will reassess its multi-billion dollar estimate of the migrant crisis’ total cost as FEMA stated that no locality can claim more than 10% for the second tranche of funding. This comes as the city is already facing a budget hole that is “getting bigger and bigger,” said Jiha. To date, the city has only received $38.5 million in emergency food and shelter program funding from FEMA to cover the cost of migrant expenses such as food, shelter and legal services. Despite another allocation expected to be awarded in the coming months, Jiha warns it will fall short of covering the $1.4 billion in expenses estimated to incur by June 30. Mayor Eric Adams and Jiha have both warned that the number is likely an undercount if migrants continue to arrive at the pace they have been doing so. City Hall has recorded around 2,200 new arrivals in the last week alone. The price tag is expected to grow another $2.9 billion by the end of June 2024, taking the total expected cost of the crisis to $4.3 billion for New York City. However, City Council Finance Chairman Justin Brannan hit back at Jiha, saying that the council was not a rubber stamp and were looking for a partner to negotiate with to deliver a budget that protects the fiscal health of the city and its essential services.