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Adams Appoints Carlo Scissura, Jessica Katz To Top Real Estate Posts

Mayor Eric Adams speaks while Gov. Kathy Hochul listens at a press conference in New York City, Jan. 6, 2022.

New York Mayor Eric Adams has filled three of the administration’s key real estate positions.

The mayor named Jessica Katz to a senior but yet-unnamed housing role, while also tapping Carlo Scissura for the city’s top economic development post and Dan Garodnick to head planning, according to multiple reports.

Jessica Katz, currently heading the housing policy nonprofit Citizens Housing and Planning Council, enters the administration having served in two previous roles at the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development

While Katz’s specific role has not been announced, it will likely be a new position, The Real Deal reports. The Adams administration changed what was formerly the position of Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development to focus more on workforce development, and Katz may oversee the housing agencies formerly under that role, which include HPD, NYCHA and the Department of Homeless Services, TRD reports.

Neither the Adams administration nor CHPC representative responded to requests for comment regarding her future role at city hall. 

Katz was a guest on Bisnow's podcast last year, when she discussed why setting broad unit target goals for affordable housing — a popular political tactic Adams' predecessor championed — isn't necessarily the best approach to the housing crisis.

"I think we’ve really fallen down on the job as a communications strategy,” she said in May. “By focusing just on a unit target, there’s lots of things in the housing policy that we miss — we don’t talk about asthma rates, which is greatly affected by housing policy. We don’t talk about the New York City Housing Authority, which is excluded from those numbers. It allows us to claim mission accomplished on the housing target when the homeless numbers are going up and up and up.”

Adams also named close confidant Carlo Scissura to head New York’s Economic Development Corp. Scissura currently serves as president and CEO of the New York Building Congress, a commercial real estate and construction industry lobbying group. He previously headed the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. A spokesperson for Scissura declined Bisnow’s request for comment. 

Dan Garodnick will lead New York’s Planning Commission and Department of City Planning, agencies that deal with rezoning and other land use issues. A former city council member, Garodnick is the current president and CEO of the Riverside Park Conservancy.  

With today’s appointments, the Adams administration has filled all but one of the real estate leadership roles at city hall, with only the commissioner of the Department of Buildings position yet to be named.