The Daily Dirt: Adams dances around good cause

Mayor fielded questions from Senate and Assembly committees

Eric Adams Addresses Good Cause Eviction
A photo illustration of Mayor of New York City Eric Adams (Getty)

The art of talking about good cause eviction (without actually talking about good cause eviction). 

During a joint hearing held by the state Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees on Tuesday, lawmakers asked Mayor Eric Adams how he feels about good cause eviction. 

His response was a slightly less ambiguous version of what he said last year: He supports the concept and thinks some kind of tenant protection could be paired with a new development incentive to replace 421a. “Some kind” is doing a lot of work here. 

After telling Crain’s in December that he would support a deal that included good cause and 421a, the mayor has pointedly avoided saying he supports the policy. 

Here’s a brief timeline of how Adams has publicly discussed the issue:

February 2023: Testifying before the state Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means committees, said tenant displacement is an important issue but “you have to keep small property owners in mind.”

December 2023: Told Crain’s that he would support a deal that includes good cause and 421a. 

January 2024: At a press conference, said “we can get it with some form of tenant protections. They can go together, they can coexist.”

February 2024: Told the state Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means committees that he supports “a version of tenant protection.” “I support tenants, and there is a place we can come together, where we can build and protect,” he said.

Gov. Kathy Hochul (who, unlike the mayor, actually has sway over the policy’s fate) has been consistently noncommittal on the issue. The closest she’s gotten to revealing where she stands was when she acknowledged that advocates — she did not even use the word tenant — will be part of housing deal negotiations.

Meanwhile, Assembly member Emily Gallagher and Sen. Cordell Cleare on Tuesday proposed the creation of a Social Housing Development Authority, which would build housing with state funds or raise money through the bond market. The projects would be built with union labor, so the policy has the backing of construction unions.

The bill’s sponsors are framing the measure as an alternative to a 421a replacement. Such a policy would face a tough road to approval, and its supporters acknowledged to City & State that it could be a years-long fight. It remains to be seen if the proposal could further complicate negotiations for a housing deal this year. 

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A thing we’ve learned: The Great Lakes are home to millions of feral goldfish, according to the New York Times

Elsewhere in New York…

— At least 70 current and former superintendents with the New York City Housing Authority face charges in connection with a $2 million bribery scheme, the New York Post reports. The superintendents allegedly received between $500 and $2,000 in kickbacks on no-bid contracts awarded between 2013 and 2023. 

— Mayor Eric Adams asked the state on Tuesday to cover half of the cost of caring for the influx of migrants, the New York Times reports. The mayor said the city would need $4.6 billion from the state to avoid significant budget cuts. 

— Brooklyn communities with high proportions of Black or Hispanic residents have less hospital capacity and fewer health care workers on a per capita basis, Politico New York reports. Neighborhoods with a high proportion of Black residents have about 50 staffed hospital beds per 100,000 residents, while zip codes with large Hispanic populations have 36, according to a report by the state Department of Health. The average for the borough is 112 staffed hospital beds per 100,000 residents.    

Closing Time

Residential: The priciest residential closing Tuesday was $7 million for a condo at 500 West 18th Street in Chelsea.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was $17 million for the one-story building at 11-06 Broadway, Queens.

New to the Market: The priciest residence to hit the market Tuesday was a condo at 219 East 44th Street in Turtle Bay asking $11.8 million. Serhant has the listing.

Breaking Ground: The largest new building filing of the day was for a 5,000-square-foot, one-story, masonry warehouse at 1958 Eastchester Road, the Bronx. Kenneth Koons Architects filed the permit application. — Jay Young