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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Mayor Adams Announces Maria-Torres Springer to Take on Expanded Portfolio as Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, Workforce

Mayor Adams and Filipino American Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer. Photo by Lambert Parong 

Deputy Mayor and Former Housing Commissioner Torres-Springer Will Lead Adams Administration’s Housing Agenda Upon Departure of Chief Housing Officer;
Will Now Also Oversee New York City Housing Authority, Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Housing Development Corporation, and Housing Recovery Office in Addition to Current Agency Portfolio

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday, May 30, announced that Deputy Mayor Maria Torres Springer will serve in a newly expanded role as deputy mayor for housing, economic development, and workforce. In her expanded role, Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer will drive the city’s efforts to preserve and improve the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), move New Yorkers experiencing homelessness into stable housing, and advance Mayor Adams’ moonshot goal of creating 500,000 new homes for New Yorkers over the next decade.

Since January 2022, Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer has helped lead the Adams administration’s work to accelerate the creation of much-needed housing in her oversight of the New York City Department of City Planning and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). She was one of the chief architects of Mayor Adams’ “Get Stuff Built” plan to speed up housing construction as a co-chair of the Building and Land Use Approval Streamlining Task Force; the “City of Yes” citywide zoning text amendments to support small businesses, create new housing, and promote sustainability; the transformation of Willets Point with 2,500 affordable homes; and the administration’s community planning efforts in the East Bronx, Central Brooklyn, the North Shore of Staten Island, Midtown South, and Jamaica.

“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 has a proven record of creating affordable housing and economic opportunity for New Yorkers, and her leadership of our economic recovery efforts has delivered real results. 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.”

“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,” said Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer. “Under Mayor Adams’ leadership, we came in with a bold agenda to change the paradigm for how we grow equitably as a city. 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. I want to thank Jessica Katz for her tireless efforts and Mayor Adams for entrusting me to carry this critical work forward.”

“Maria Torres-Springer has been one of the primary drivers of our administration’s efforts to build more of the housing New Yorkers so desperately need and build it faster in every corner of our city,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “She has a long record of delivering results at the highest levels of city government and of partnering with impacted communities to ensure their voices are heard and their needs are being met. There could not be a better choice to continue the work started by the chief housing officer and her team, and I am excited to continue working with Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer to keep this city affordable for working- and middle-class families in all five boroughs.”

About Maria Torres-Springer

Maria Torres-Springer has served as the deputy mayor for economic and workforce development since January 2022, spearheading the Adams administration’s efforts to strengthen and diversify the city’s economy, invest in emerging industries, bolster small businesses, connect New Yorkers to family-sustaining jobs, and expand access to arts and culture. As deputy mayor, she has overseen “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery” and the city’s strong jobs recovery, efforts to support small businesses with the “Small Business Forward” executive order, commercial district recovery and the “New” New York panel’s “Making New York Work for Everyone” action plan, and transformational projects in Willets Point and on Governors Island.

She was previously vice president of U.S. programs at the Ford Foundation, where she oversaw the foundation’s domestic grantmaking and made historic investments in support of racial equity, workers’ rights, voting rights, and arts and culture across the country.

Torres-Springer has a long track record of public service in New York City, having led three city agencies with over 3,000 employees and approximately $2 billion in annual operating budgets, addressing some of the city’s most significant public policy challenges. As commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, she oversaw the financing of approximately 60,000 affordable homes — the most over any two-year period in the agency’s history. She also helped develop comprehensive plans for investments in Inwood, Downtown Far Rockaway, Jerome Avenue, and other neighborhoods; advanced initiatives to promote innovations in design and construction; and launched several new programs to protect tenants’ rights. She has served as board chair of the New York City Housing Development Corporation and as a board member of the New York City Housing Authority.

As the first woman to serve as president of NYCEDC, she led the implementation of the citywide NYC Ferry service and oversaw major investments in key sectors of the city’s economy. Working closely with community leaders, she also spearheaded several neighborhood revitalization plans across the city.

As commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services, she prioritized efforts to raise wages and support women- and immigrant-owned businesses. She also launched Women Entrepreneurs NYC and worked to prepare New Yorkers for 21st-century jobs through the Tech to Talent Pipeline program.

Torres-Springer earned a bachelor’s degree in ethics, politics, and economics from Yale University and a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer will continue to report to First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright.


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