Adams returns housing to deputy mayor’s portfolio
Torres-Springer gets gig; “chief housing officer” post disappearing
It seems the role of chief housing officer will be short-lived.
Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday announced that Maria Torres-Springer will take over the responsibilities of departing chief housing officer Jessica Katz. Torres-Springer’s title will be deputy mayor for housing, economic development, and workforce, the mayor said.
Katz announced last week that she would step down in July. Though she did not detail her reasons for leaving, the administration’s controversial positions on right-to-shelter and expanding housing vouchers may have played a role.
Adams shifted housing away from the deputy mayor’s purview when he appointed Katz as the city’s first chief housing officer in January. Now, Torres-Springer’s portfolio will include — as it did for her predecessors in her post — the New York City Housing Authority, Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Housing Development Corporation.
The move will be well received by housing advocates. In response to the news of Katz’s departure, the New York Housing Conference had called on the Adams administration to once again “elevate housing to a deputy mayor role.” It is unclear whether the administration will revisit separating housing from economic development.
Torres-Springer served as HPD commissioner and president and CEO of the city’s Economic Development Corporation in the de Blasio administration.
“Having worked with Maria for years, I’m thrilled to see her continue the important work of solving our city’s housing crisis as deputy mayor for housing, economic development, and workforce,” Katz said in a statement. “Maria is committed to ensuring New Yorkers have safe, stable, and affordable homes, and she will keep tenants and our neighbors experiencing homelessness centered in these conversations at City Hall.”