New York agrees to hold off on relocating its homeless to Newark

New York City has agreed to temporarily stop sending homeless shelter residents to Newark as part of a program that offered landlords one year’s rent up front to provide housing.

The two cities came to the agreement in federal court Monday, one week after Newark filed suit against New York over its Special One-Time Assistance Program, which has relocated nearly 1,200 homeless families to Newark since 2017.

New York officials say Newark’s motion for a temporary restraining order has been withdrawn by court order.

But Newark says a lawsuit to permanently halt the program is still moving forward.

New York has also agreed to provide Newark officials with confidential information and the addresses of families who were moved here.

“It was imperative to us that we get a list of who these people are and where they were housed so we could make our social services available to them, and make sure they weren’t being taken advantage of by bad landlords,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said. “Our priority was, and is, the safety, dignity and chance to succeed for these people.”

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio’s press secretary Freddi Goldstein said the city is temporarily pausing placements in Newark “in the spirit of productive conversations and with the goal of moving toward an improved program.”

But Goldstein added the two cities will be back in court Thursday to come to an agreement on a Newark ordinance that prohibits outside agencies from paying — and landlords from accepting — more than one month’s rent at a time.

“If a satisfactory agreement is not met, we will file a formal challenge to the ordinance the next day,” she said.