Maria Torres-Springer Named Deputy Mayor of Housing After Jessica Katz’s Departure

reprints


A week after New York City’s chief housing officer Jessica Katz stepped down, Mayor Eric Adams has handed those responsibilities to Maria Torres-Springer.

Torres-Springer’s title changed from deputy mayor of economic and workforce development to deputy mayor of housing, economic and workforce development as the city battles a crisis to house migrants and a growing homeless population, amNewYork Metro first reported.

SEE ALSO: Honk If You Love Congestion Pricing

The appointment adds to Torres-Springer’s to-do list the creation of 500,000 new homes to the city’s stock over the next decade, preserving New York City Housing Authority buildings and finding solutions for over 70,000 unhoused individuals in the five boroughs, according to the administration.

“Having grown up in Section 8 housing, I know firsthand that safe and affordable housing is about more than mere brick and mortar — it’s about creating opportunity and improving lives,” Torres-Springer said in a statement. “I am incredibly humbled to further serve New Yorkers as we strive to provide stable housing for our neighbors, protect our existing affordable and public housing, and identify new ways to make housing affordable for all New Yorkers at this critical moment in our city’s history.”

Torres-Springer’s expanded role will include the responsibilities of Katz, who left the newly created role of chief housing officer after less than 18 months, partly due to the confusion from City Hall staffers if Katz or a deputy mayor was in charge of figuring out the city’s housing crises.

Before joining Adams administration in January 2022, Torres-Springer had been in city government for a number of years, serving as commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services and president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation for a time under former Mayor Bill de Blasio. She also served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, where she was credited with financing the generation of 60,000 additional housing units by the Adams administration.

“In a year and half with this administration and throughout her career in public service, Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer has shown clearly that she is ready to take bold action to tackle the city’s affordable housing crisis,” said Mayor Adams. “She is the right person at the right time to create and preserve the safe, high-quality, affordable housing New Yorkers so desperately need, and I congratulate her on this expanded role that will allow her to serve even more New Yorkers.”

Jamie Torres-Springer, Maria’s husband, serves as chief of construction and development at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a role formerly occupied by MTA Chairman Janno Lieber.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.