New York City is spending nearly $5 million a day to house and feed thousands of migrants — but the Big Apple is still barely getting a dime in aid from President Biden and Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The mind-blowing cost of the crisis was revealed Friday afternoon after city Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol told a City Council panel that Gotham’s Department of Homeless Services and Health & Hospitals each spend an average of $363 daily to provide food and shelter for just a single migrant.
Given that there are more than 30,000 migrants currently being housed in city taxpayer-funded facilities, that would amount to a daily staggering bill of $10.89 million.
City Hall then waited until Friday night to officially correct Iscol’s comments.
Iscol never weighed back in.
After Mayor Eric Adams’ administration refused for several hours to go on the record, a spokeswoman, Kate Smart, finally wrote in an e-mail to The Post that “$364 per household is the per diem for asylum seekers.”
Based on what City Hall would only say on background earlier, “there are 12,700 households currently in our care,” that puts the daily migrant cost for the city still at a colossal $4,622,800.
Smart added on the record, “The city has spent more than $500 million on asylum seeker needs in this fiscal year, which began July 1, and anticipates spending $4.2 billion across this fiscal year and the next.
“As we’ve said for months, it’s clear that we need financial support from federal and state partners as the number of asylum seekers arriving continues to increase.”
Earlier in the day, Iscol warned the City Council’s Committee on Contracts, “The city is at the end of its resources.
“This is not sustainable. What we’re doing at the HERRCs is not sustainable,” said the commissioner, referring to the temporary Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers set up by the city to deal with the tenuous situation.
“It’s why we have asked the state, it’s why we’ve asked the federal government for support because these two operations are not sustainable during this unprecedented emergency and humanitarian crisis,” he said.
There was confusion later Friday over the figure, with City Hall claiming the estimate was wrong but refusing to make a statement on the record.
Instead, a City Hall source would only say in an e-mail that “$364 is the per diem for asylum seekers in our care … per household, not per person.
“There are 12,700 households currently in our care. … In fact, most households in our care are families (not individuals).”
That would still mean nearly a colossal $5 million-plus daily bill for taxpayers to deal with migrants in New York City.
Yet despite the city’s pleas for help from the Biden and Hochul administrations, it has gotten a drop in the bucket when it comes to financial help — even as the Big Apple barrels toward a projected $4.2 billion two-year total bill to handle the influx.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency gave an almost laughable $8 million to the city in December — not even enough to cover two current days.
City Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) seethed to The Post on Friday, “Maybe the Biden administration can remember that this is their responsibility and not our mayor’s.”
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island) added, “It’s mind-boggling that the city is going out of its way to house citizens of other countries when we have our own New York citizens who are struggling to put food on the table and keep roofs over our heads.
“We just got our new property tax assessments, and people are wondering how they’re going to make these increased payments.
“Mayor Eric Adams and the City Council should tell Joe Biden to stop the insane policy that’s allowing people to enter our country.”
Meanwhile, Hochul’s administration has only provided members of the New York National Guard to help with the city’s handling of the hordes of migrants, who cross into the US from its southern border illegally, then claim asylum.
In December, her office said the state had spent $20 million so far — less than half of two days’ worth of current city costs —and will spend another $13 million a month through the end of the year, or barely enough to cover two days a month.
She promised $1 billion in aid to the city for the crisis in her state budget, but the Big Apple has to cough up roughly a third of that, while the feds would be on the hook for another third, which they have yet to say they will do. Hochul did not say where the state’s third would come from.
Iscol’s comments on the Big Apple’s cost per migrant came about during an exchange with City Council member Gale Brewer.
“Is there a difference in the cost for somebody at a HERRC shelter versus a DHS shelter, and is that something that you take into account?” Brewer asked the city official.
Iscol replied, “Can you clarify?”
Brewer said, “No, I’m just saying if somebody’s staying in a HERRC shelter, it’s “X” cost per night, depending [whether it’s a city-contracted hotel such as the] the Row, depending on the Wolcott?”
Iscol responded, “I mean, every single shelter, every single HERRC has different costs as well. We target a per diem across the whole of government approach of around somewhere between $350 and $375. I think it’s actually about $363, is the number for the per diem average, but that’s for both systems.
Brewer asked, “What about DHS?”
Iscol said, “That’s an average for both of them.”