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NYC Council wants to Eric Adams to court in bitter feud over housing voucher reforms

The New York City Council hopes to take its bitter feud with Mayor Eric Adams over housing vouchers to court, the latest clash in a volatile power struggle with Mr. Hizuner.

Lawmakers on Wednesday asked to join a class action lawsuit aimed at forcing the mayor to comply with controversial housing reforms that the administration has been adamantly determined to ignore.

Adams “usurps the authority of the council” [as] “As a co-equal arm of city government,” the council said in a motion to intervene in the lawsuit, which was seen by the Post.

At the heart of the issue are changes to a program called CityFHELPS that would allow people facing eviction to obtain housing vouchers without spending three months in the city’s shelter system. You will be able to do it.

If the City Council’s motion to intervene is successful, the City Council will join a lawsuit brought by the Legal Aid Society and four people who say they were unable to receive city rental assistance despite recent changes, the City Council said in a statement. mentioned in.

Mayor Adams vetoed the reform last June. Pacific Press/LightRocket (via Getty Images)

“The City Council enacted the CityFHEPS Reform Act to ensure that housing vouchers are used more effectively to prevent low-income New Yorkers from facing eviction and homelessness. We have a responsibility to enforce the law,” said Vice Chair Diana Ayala.

“The government’s failure to enforce these laws has harmful consequences for New Yorkers whose homes are unsafe and in need of additional support,” she said.

“As our city faces a housing shortage, it is important to protect low-income New Yorkers from losing their homes and being forced to join the ranks of people in similar economic situations who are looking for new homes. ” reads the statement.

City Councilor Adrian Adams previously promised legal action if City Hall did not comply with the changes by February 7. Matthew McDermott

The motion is the latest move in a months-long battle between Adams and the City Council over the controversial changes.

The revised policy also raised the income threshold for receiving aid and prohibited landlords from deducting utility costs from vouchers.

When Adams vetoed the changes in June 2023, he argued that the bill’s $17 billion price tag was simply not possible given the ongoing immigration crisis.

When the City Council overrode the veto a month later, City Hall claimed it had exceeded the bill’s cost by $7 million.

Just before the law took effect on January 9, Adams told lawmakers he had no intention of enforcing the law and was open to taking it to court.

This reform raised income limits for aid and reduced income for landowners. gabriella bass

In a new motion, the City Council ridicules Adams’ implication that the new reforms are legally invalid, suggesting that if City Hall’s concerns were legitimate, they should have already gone to court.

“[Mayor Adams] There was sufficient time, six months after the enactment of the law,” the council argued.

“Instead, he unilaterally decided that the reform law was invalid and would not be enforced, and in doing so usurped the role of the judiciary. This is no way to deal with conflicts between political branches.” Ta.

The reforms aim to prevent thousands of New Yorkers from becoming homeless through eviction. helaine sideman

The statement said Council President Adrian Adams had also previously written to Department of Social Services Secretary Molly Wasow Park, warning that the council would take legal action if the reforms were not implemented by February 7. did.

Neither City Hall nor Legal Aid immediately responded to The Post’s requests for comment on the City Council motion.

Last week Adrian Holder, Legal Aid’s lead civil litigation attorney, appeared on the steps of City Hall and demanded that the group’s four clients give them “no more sleepless nights.”

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