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In N.Y.C., a push to bring back tourists includes razing homeless encampments.

In N.Y.C., a push to bring back tourists includes razing homeless encampments.
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In N.Y.C., a push to bring back tourists includes razing homeless encampments.

In N.Y.C., a push to bring back tourists includes razing homeless encampments.

As New York City struggles to attract tourists and office workers, it has launched an aggressive campaign to drive homeless people off the streets of Manhattan.

City workers demolished one or two camps a day. Now they sometimes clean dozens of them. Since the end of May, teams including sanitation workers in garbage trucks, police officers and outreach workers have crisscrossed Manhattan around the clock, hitting the same places over and over again.

The sweeps are part of a larger effort by Mayor Bill de Blasio that includes moving more than 8,000 people from hotels, where they had been placed to stem the spread of the coronavirus, to barracks-style group shelters.

Transfers continue despite the recent increase in the Delta variant, though the city told a judge it would delay action on Monday to address concerns it was not taking sufficient account of people’s health concerns and disabilities. .

The city is also responding to months of complaints about homeless people blocking public spaces, threatening passers-by and committing assaults. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, whose administration cut aid to tackle homelessness, on Wednesday cited the problem as one of the main obstacles to the city’s recovery.

The debate over how to tackle homelessness in New York City, where more than 2,000 people live on the streets and on the subways, comes as cities across the country grapple with growing settlements.

Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday banned camping near parks, libraries and schools. On Saturday, a national moratorium on evictions expired, raising fears of another upsurge in homelessness, although in New York the moratorium continues until August 31.

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