This gives new meaning to money laundering.
New York City is shelling out millions of dollars to wash dirty clothes for migrants in local shelters — including a $1.1 million emergency cleaning contract awarded to Queens-based CRC Management Co. for people in shelters it runs that was revealed in city records Thursday.
The free laundry service for migrants is leaving New Yorkers hung out to dry, local leaders said.
“Taxpayers are being taken to the cleaners,” said Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella. “Here we are providing laundry services to people who arrived here last week?
“That’s a lot of dough to spend on laundry. We should be spending that money elsewhere. It’s one more reason the migrant crisis has to come to an end.”
While a total figure spent by the city on migrant laundry was not known, it’s at least in the eight-figure range, as earlier this year a $10.5 million cleaning contract was awarded by the Health+ Hospital agency to Sodexo Laundry Service.
Millions of dollars of additional spending on laundry services are tucked into other contracts.
Four other Department of Homeless contracts totaling $23 million are for laundry services as well as staffing and security.
During recent testimony before the City Council, Adams administration officials overseeing services for migrants suggested laundry bills could run into the tens of millions of dollars.
The city had paid out $2.26 billion since the influx of migrants arrived in the Big Apple in spring of 2022.
Of that total, $1 billion has covered the cost of services and supplies — including laundry, registration, transportation and security costs.
Critics fumed that migrants should have to pay to clean their own laundry just like their constituents do.
“The state and city are treating us like chumps,” Queens Councilman Robert Holden said. “We have to do our laundry. Migrants should have to go to the laundromat like the rest of us. They should do their own laundry.
“We should stop taking care of the entire world with laundry service, food, housing. Are they going to start paying for manicures and pedicures? It’s so absurd.”
The staggering contractual costs the city has run to care for asylum seekers has alarmed the City Council.
During a hearing on Monday, Upper West Side Councilwoman Gale Brewer pointed out disparities in the different contracts for laundry service, ranging $1.50 to $3 a pound.
City officials said the average cost for laundry in the contracts was about $2 per pound.
Officials said they had to contract out for laundry services for migrants because many of the shelters do not have washing machines or dryers.
Mayor Eric Adams has complained that the migrant crisis would “destroy” New York City without additional federal and state assistance, with a price tag to care for asylum seekers that could reach $12 billion.
Meanwhile, a majority of New Yorkers, in a recent Siena College poll, agreed with Adams that the migrants crisis could “destroy” the Big Apple.
City Hall did not dispute the staggering costs — just to clean migrants’ laundry.
“It’s expensive. All of it is expensive,” a mayoral rep said.