ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– A court conference on a right to shelter lawsuit took place in New York City on Wednesday. The lawsuit involves New York State, New York City, and the Legal Aid Society following a 1980s ruling requiring New York City to take in the asylum seekers.

New York City said it is at capacity. It wants a state mandate banning upstate communities from passing ordinances preventing migrants from being relocated to their areas. Last week, the state’s attorney wrote a letter pointing the finger back at New York City, saying it should have prioritized efforts like work authorization for these asylum seekers.

While the finger pointing continues, The Legal Aid Society, part of that 1980s case,  said there are signs of progress.

“The parties are continuing to work together,” said Kathryn Kliff, a staff attorney for Legal Aid Society. We met with both the state and the city yesterday to talk about what was in those letters and what process could be made.  The state’s letter also mentioned ways the state has helped the city, including a billion dollars in funding,  declaring a disaster emergency, and a list for potential temporary shelters.

“We are looking for the state to take more of a leadership role here,” said Kliff. “There were certainly some new things in the letter about some new sites offered things of that nature, but we are hoping that rather than the state putting focus on things that may have happened in the past— things that have not been going well communication wise between the state and the city, that we can put a focus on what’s happening now and how to fix the current issues.”

This week, the governor announced Floyd Bennett Field, which is federal owned property, will be used to house migrants. 

“The state will again spend the money necessary to stand up space for 2,000 individuals now so here’s how the strategy works the services, the opportunities the programs with English as a second language for many of these children who need to be in school soon,” explained Hochul on Monday. “They are centralized in the five boroughs as well as the city’s right to shelter law, which is a driver of why a number of people have come there. 

Hochul on Monday spoke about the relationship between the city and the state. 

“That all being said, and not having legal responsibility, we are doing an enormous amount of work, and we will continue to support the mayor in dealing with what is nothing short of a humanitarian crisis. That commitment is firm, it will continue.”