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NEW YORK — New York state’s highest appeals court struck down Tuesday a city plan to impose strict new requirements on people trying to enter homeless shelters.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration aimed to require that homeless adults prove they had no other housing options in order to gain admittance to a city-run shelter.

The Court of Appeals ruled against that policy, affirming a lower court’s decision on a lawsuit brought by the city council and its speaker, Christine Quinn.

‘‘We are extremely pleased with today’s decision, which prevents the Department of Homeless Services from implementing a policy that would have kept thousands of homeless men and women out of shelter,’’ Quinn said.


The rule requiring proof of homelessness has long applied to homeless families, but the Department of Homeless Services tried to expand it to individuals in 2011.

That plan never went into effect, due to the City Council’s lawsuit. The shelter population has surged under Bloomberg’s tenure, to more than 50,000.

Homeless advocates praised the ruling. They said the current policy already strands homeless families and would have been even harsher on single adults because they are more likely to have substance abuse or mental health problems that could make it more difficult to prove their housing status.

The Bloomberg administration criticized the appeals court’s ruling.

Associated Press