Oneida County has issued an emergency order that bars the acceptance of newly-expanded New York City rental housing vouchers without the authorization of County Executive Anthony Picente, his office announced Thursday.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced earlier this week that city-funded housing vouchers for homeless New Yorkers could be used outside the five boroughs. It's part of efforts to ease the homeless population in city shelters as officials are scrambling to make way for more asylum seekers.

Picente's order prohibits the acceptance of CityFHEPS rental or other voucher by any person, business or other entity by lease agreement or otherwise without his authorization. Before granting any authorization, Oneida County must first be given 30 days to provide an equivalent rental voucher to a client of its Department of Family & Community Services before seeking to accept a voucher from New York City. Violators of the order would face a Class B misdemeanor and a civil penalty of $2,000 per day.

“This is just a veiled attempt by Mayor Adams to pass New York City’s migrant crisis on to upstate counties,” Picente said in a statement. “This action is due to the complete failure of federal government policy and lack of leadership in Albany. Oneida County has the same capacity issues as New York City and this maneuver to push their homeless into our community would not only ravage our ability to serve our people in need, but would devastate the affordable housing market and incentivize landlords to displace good local tenants.”  

The move is the latest sticking point between New York City and upstate counties since the migrant influx began in May. Adams' voucher announcement faced immediate backlash from the state Association of Counties.

In May, Oneida and several other upstate counties put in place states of emergency that prohibit hotels and shelters from accepting migrants from New York City. While Oneida County hasn’t accepted any migrants from New York City, Picente told Capital Tonight last week that he will keep the county’s state of emergency in place and said that Oneida County’s current emergency case load is maxed out. 

“We are at capacity. The homeless problem doesn’t just exist in big cities like New York and in Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo. They are here in Utica and Rome as well," he said.

County leaders are also concerned the change will exacerbate the state's insufficient supply of affordable housing.


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