New York City housing chief resigns amid migrant and homelessness crisis
Katz’s resignation comes as the city grapples with housing problems stemming from rising homelessness and a record number of migrants arriving in the city
May 26, 2023 6:53am
Updated: May 26, 2023 6:53am
New York City’s Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz announced she was resigning in July as the city continues to deal with historic records of homelessness and a migrant crisis.
Katz, a former city housing official, was appointed to the role by Mayor Eric Adams in January 2022.
The newly created position was meant to help coordinate the city’s several agencies that deal with housing, including the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Housing Development Corporation, the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations, the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants, and the Department of Social Services.
Yet, less than 18 months after assuming the role, Katz told the Gothamist in an exclusive interview that she plans to leave her position next month.
“These jobs are a real sprint,” Katz told Gothamist. “I kind of made a list for myself of what I wanted to do when I started this, and I’ve been working my way down that list, so I think now’s the right time.”
It is unclear whether city officials will look for someone else to fill the role or if they will no longer keep the position.
Katz “worked every day to ensure that New Yorkers were at the center of our housing policies, whether an individual experiencing homelessness, a family living in NYCHA, or a lifelong New Yorker struggling to stay in the neighborhood they love,” said Mayor Adams.
Katz’s resignation comes as the city grapples with housing problems stemming from rising homelessness and a record number of migrants arriving in the city. At the same time, rents in the Big Apple continue to increase past pre-pandemic levels throughout all of the city’s boroughs.
This week, Mayor Adams requested to suspend the city’s “right to shelter” regulation because the city does not have enough “resources and capacity to establish and maintain shelter sites, staffing, and security to provide safe and appropriate shelter.” Currently, the city is housing more than 93,000 individuals, more than half of which are migrants.