NYC mayor sued for ‘relocating homeless people to New Jersey’

The Mayor of the city of Newark in New Jersey is taking his New York counterpart to court, over claims that homeless people are being coerced into moving into his city.

Ras Baraka and his administration have accused New York City’s Bill de Blasio, as well as its homelessness tsar Steven Banks, of using a programme designed to support homeless people, to move people over the Hudson River from the Big Apple to find somewhere else to live.

The Special One-Time Assistance (SOTA) scheme provides one year’s full rent up-front for those eligible, to move within New York City, to other areas within New York State – or to another state.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08: Mayor of Newark, New Jersey Ras Baraka and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio attend day 1 of the National Action Network 2015 Convention at Sheraton New York Times Square on April 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)
Image:2015: New Jersey mayor Ras Baraka and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Court papers at the US district court in New Jersey said that: “This case concerns an unlawful program of ‘coerced’ migration.”

The papers add that officials in New York City are forcing recipients of SOTA to accept offers of help very quickly by giving them an “offer they can’t refuse” – violating federal commerce laws.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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