Healey Administration To Ban Migrants From Sleeping At Logan Airport

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2024/06/28/healey-administration-to-ban-migrants-from-sleeping-at-logan-airport/

By Michael P. Norton
State House News Service

Sleeping overnight at Logan International Airport in Boston will be prohibited starting next month, and some eligible families on a waitlist for emergency assistance shelter will be redirected to a new facility in Norfolk, the Healey administration announced Friday.

Effective Tuesday, July 9, people will be banned from spending the night at Logan, a practice that has become common amid a sharp increase in migrants heading to Massachusetts and a lack of available shelter space despite the state’s right-to-shelter law.

Families now sleeping at the airport who are on a waitlist to access the emergency assistance shelter program will be offered a chance to transfer to safety-net shelters intended to accommodate overflow, officials said. Those sites will include a safety-net shelter that opened in the town of Norfolk this week, which the administration said will accommodate up to 140 families.

Governor Maura Healey last year imposed a cap of 7,500 families in the Emergency Assistance shelter system at one time, and Massachusetts has consistently had a waitlist of shelter-seekers above that threshold since then. Lawmakers and Healey also agreed to limit families to nine months in the system with some extensions available.

As of June 13, Massachusetts had 272 families, or 919 people, in overflow shelter sites, according to a report filed with lawmakers.

“The administration has worked diligently in recent months to increase the number of families leaving shelter into more stable housing. With this progress, the recent opening of a new safety-net site in Norfolk, and the new nine-month length of stay policy, we are now in a position to end the practice of families staying overnight in the airport. This is in the best interest of families and travelers and staff at Logan, as the airport is not an appropriate place for people to seek shelter,” said Scott Rice, Healey’s point man on the shelter crisis, in a written statement. “We are going to continue to spread the word that Massachusetts is out of shelter space and that, if families are travelling to Massachusetts, they need to be prepared with a plan for housing that does not include Logan Airport or our Emergency Assistance shelters.”


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