Mayor Eric Adams has created a new position to oversee the city’s housing agencies and initiatives.
Jessica Katz was introduced Sunday as chief housing officer and will assume some of the responsibilities previously held by the deputy mayor of housing and economic development. The word “housing” was removed from the latter post, now held by Maria Torres-Springer.
The Real Deal was the first to report that Adams was poised to name Katz to a top housing position.
Adams also announced Sunday that former Bronx borough president Adolfo Carrión Jr. will serve as commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, one of the agencies in Katz’s portfolio. Carrión is founder and CEO of affordable housing development company Metro Futures and has also worked as a consultant with the Stagg Group.
Katz most recently served as executive director of the housing nonprofit Citizens Housing and Planning Council. She worked for the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development for several years before that. As chief housing officer, Katz will oversee the HPD, the New York City Housing Authority, the Housing Development Corporation, the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations and the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants.
Carrión served as Bronx borough president from 2002 to 2009 after representing the West Bronx in the City Council from 1998 to 2001. He was also the first director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs during the Obama administration, and then served as regional administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in New York and New Jersey. He was a long shot candidate for mayor in 2013.
Adams has opted to keep Eric Enderlin as president of the Housing Development Corporation, a role he has held since October 2016. Before that, he was a deputy commissioner at HPD.
Sunday’s announcements came after reports that administration hires have been held up by ethical questions and other issues, although no controversies emerged regarding his housing appointees. The mayor has not yet named a new commissioner for the Department of Buildings.