Mayor Adams Appoints Housing Leadership Team

Mayor Eric Adams recently announced the team who will lead his administration’s low-income housing strategy. Jessica Katz will lead the team as the city’s chief housing officer. Adolfo Carrión Jr. will serve as commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Eric Enderlin will continue serving as the president of the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

During the announcement, the mayor reiterated his support for several measures that will help the city build housing and reduce costs, including:

  • Upzoning areas with robust infrastructure and around major transit hubs, as well as creating new housing supply around the five boroughs;
  • Legalizing basement apartment dwellings, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), and other small units; and
  • Converting underused hotels and office buildings into low-income housing.

One level deeper: As HPD commissioner, Adolfo Carrion will oversee the agency that enforces the NYC Housing Maintenance Code, which covers heat and hot water, mold, pests, gas leaks, fire safety, and more. HPD inspectors are estimated to perform over 500,000 inspections annually. They use a variety of other Code Enforcement tools to address building conditions, from performing owner outreach to bringing cases in Housing Court to performing emergency repairs.

Carrión was Bronx borough president between 2002 and 2009, before joining the Obama administration as the first White House Office of Urban Affairs director. He stayed in that position for less than a year before moving on to become a regional manager for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In more recent years, he's run a real estate development and consulting firm called Metro Futures. But Carrión also has worked with Stagg Group, which has been one of the most active builders of muti-unit apartments in the Bronx in recent years, especially in the northwest portion of the borough.

What caught our eye: The mayor has not yet named a new commissioner for the Department of Buildings. Also, in announcing his team, the mayor has created a new position to oversee the city's housing agencies and initiatives. Jessica Katz as Chief Housing Officer will oversee a portfolio that includes 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.

Katz most recently served as executive director of the housing nonprofit Citizens Housing and Planning Council. She worked for HPD for several years before that.  She will report to First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo.