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Adams' $98B Budget Barely Mentions Housing, Infuriating Advocates

Mayor Eric Adams released his preliminary spending plan for the city Wednesday that reduces the current budget by $2.3B, taking an approach housing advocates describe as disappointing.

Mayor Eric Adams

Adams didn’t give any real airtime to housing in announcing his $98.5B budget, instead focusing on his plans to improve public safety and shrink municipal employment over time.

“As a candidate, Mayor Adams promised to spend $4B a year on housing because he knows that affordable housing significantly improves lives, creates jobs, and makes fiscal sense in the short- and long-term,” New York Housing Conference Executive Director Rachel Fee said in a statement.

“We are extremely disappointed that Mayor Eric Adams did not even mention housing in his remarks nor prioritize it in his budget plans, instead choosing to maintain the status quo and abandon his campaign promise to double city capital spending on affordable housing and NYCHA. In the process, he sent a loud and clear signal to his struggling constituents: ‘Despite what I said on the campaign trail, don’t expect bold action on housing.’”

Both the real estate and affordable housing industries have described the city’s housing crisis as the biggest challenge for both Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul. 

In revealing the plan, Adams said his first budget reduces fiscal year 2023 spending by $2.3B. He will also require most city agencies to cut spending by 3%, per the New York Times, and proposed putting about $1B into reserve funds for the city. Those cuts don't account for expected salary raises for civil servants, as several union contracts are up for renegotiation this coming year, Politico reports.

The city is now projecting to receive $1.6B more in tax revenue this financial year than previously expected, thanks to improved personal and business income taxes, sales taxes and transaction taxes.

An added $726M in tax revenue growth is a result of higher-than-expected property valuations. Adams last month released his plan to end gun violence, which will put more police officers on duty in 30 of the city's 77 precincts where 80% of the city's violence is taking place and trim the New York City Police Department by about $30M down to around $5.41B, according to the New York Post. Adams told reporters, however, the cut is about 0.6% and means the NYPD budget will be basically flat.