Mayor Adams recently released his November budget plan, which showed agency’s proposed cuts to meet Mayor Adams’s call for 15% cuts in total over the next three plans, including 5% in the November plan.

We appreciate the support of our partners in joining our letter to the Mayor last month calling for housing funding and services to be protected from budget cuts and the hiring freeze. We remain deeply concerned about the impact of the planned 10% cuts coming in the next two plans. We call on the mayor to exempt housing-related funding from future cuts and to exempt HPD, HRA and DHS from the hiring freeze. Further cuts to housing-related services at HPD, DHS, HRA, DOB and DCP will only exacerbate the housing crisis.


UPDATE: While City Hall originally told us that HPD was exempt from the hiring freeze, we have since learned that the exemption at HPD is more narrow so that only certain titles in development and code enforcement are exempt, but not legal and other supporting offices.

As of September, the most recent data available to NYHC, HPD staffing was higher than before the pandemic, showing significant progress adding and retaining staff. Even a partial hiring freeze will impact affordable housing production. The positions at HPD that are not exempt from the freeze work on development, and losing staff in those offices without replacement will slow down affordable housing development.

DHS and HRA are not exempt from the freeze and both remain understaffed, with an ongoing backlog processing public benefits. In September, DHS had 460 fewer staff than before the pandemic and more than 10 percent under budgeted headcount while HRA had 1,586 fewer staff than before the pandemic and 16 percent under budget.

We are deeply concerned about the impact of the hiring freeze on housing production and services. It will make staffing shortages at DHS and HRA far worse and will exacerbate ongoing processing delays and will cause HPD to backslide and lose staff and therefore impact affordable housing production.

Operating Budget

According to our analysis, the budget cuts in this plan show minimal impact to housing services. HPD’s budget cuts and savings total $20.5 million in FY 2024 and between $18.5 million and $20.7 million over the next three years. The cuts mostly involve funding swaps – using capital funding instead of expense funding – and savings in rental assistance based on slower than anticipated production of supportive housing.

Savings at DHS total $14,000 in FY 2024 and between $24.6 million and $31.7 million over the next three years. The main source of the savings is projected savings in shelter spending due to the state-funded Special Housing Assistance Resource (SHARE) program. Department of Social Services savings total $322 million in FY2024 and roughly $70 million in future years. The savings are mostly from prior year revenues or additional revenues, moving specific job training programs to existing employment services, and overtime savings in future years. The overtime savings are concerning and could result in less services.

Capital Budget

In September the city released the approved capital commitment plan for FY 2024. The plan saw small changes from the executive plan in April, with an increase of $182.5 million for HPD in FY 2024 and a realignment of $175 million from FY 2026 to FY 2025. City capital for NYCHA decreased $400 million in FY 2024 but increased $324.5 million in FY 2025 and $365 million in FY 2026 and decreased $60.5 million in FY 2027.

Overall, while the city is budgeting $3.8 billion for housing capital in FY 2024, the capital budget drops significantly in the outyears to $3.1 billion in FY 2025, $2.6 billion in FY 2026 and $2 billion in FY 2027. Growing costs for housing production and the ongoing crisis require the city to provide adequate spending for housing capital and we continue our call for the city to allocate at least $4 billion in housing capital every year.