Adams to tap Jessica Katz for housing post, Carlo Scissura to run EDC

Garodnick to be planning czar as administration’s real estate leadership takes shape

Mayor Eric Adams, Carlo Scissura and Jessica Katz (Getty, New York Building Congress, CHPCNY)
Mayor Eric Adams, Carlo Scissura and Jessica Katz (Getty, New York Building Congress, CHPCNY)

Mayor Eric Adams’ real estate brain trust is starting to take shape.

Adams is expected to appoint Jessica Katz to a senior housing post, Carlo Scissura to run economic development and Dan Garodnick as planning czar, according to numerous sources.

Katz is the executive director of the housing nonprofit Citizens Housing and Planning Council. She first worked for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development in 2003 as a production manager for the Division of Special Needs Housing, leaving in 2009 to lead the supportive-housing nonprofit Lantern Organization. She returned to HPD in 2012 as associate commissioner for new construction.

Her Adams administration post will be a new position, most likely spun off from the former role of deputy mayor of housing and economic development. Adams has renamed that title deputy mayor of economic and workforce development and filled it with de Blasio and Bloomberg administration veteran Maria Torres-Springer.

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The details of Katz’s new role remain under wraps, but given the previous deputy mayor’s responsibilities, as well as comments made by Adams during the campaign, she could oversee HPD, the New York City Housing Authority and the Department of Homeless Services.

It is also not clear whether Katz will be HPD commissioner or oversee that post, which is being filled on an interim basis by a de Blasio holdover. Messages seeking comment from Adams and Katz were not returned.

Various sources also confirmed that Adams plans to name Carlo Scissura head of the city’s Economic Development Corporation. Scissura has served as president and CEO of the New York Building Congress since 2017, where he has advocated for large-scale infrastructure work including the Gateway tunnel project and a redevelopment of Sunnyside Yards. Before that, he led the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Adams also plans to appoint former City Council member Dan Garodnick to lead the City Planning Commission and the Department of City Planning. This week, the mayor tapped real estate attorney Edward Mermelstein to serve as commissioner of international affairs.

Another key position for real estate, commissioner of the Department of Buildings, remains unfilled. Last month Adams made de Blasio buildings commissioner Melanie La Rocca the city’s first chief efficiency officer.