Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was chosen as the Democratic candidate for Mayor of New York - and is therefore likely to be elected mayor. What are his own housing history and his policies?
Below are some excerpts. from a NY Times article and a City & State article about him.
NY TIMES: NYCHA: Mr. Adams said he planned to raise $8 billion for NYCHA by selling the so-called air rights for some of its properties to private developers, something the authority has already begun to explore.
City & State: Excerpt from Ross Barkan article.
Take rent-stabilization. The mayor of New York City does not have much power over the city’s tenant laws – the state Legislature and the governor decide them – but the mayor does appoint new members to the Rent Guidelines Board, which decides how much in rent more than two million tenants in rent-stabilized apartments will pay.
Most of the candidates, even those who are close to the real estate industry such as Andrew Yang and former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, have spoken warmly about the idea of a rent freeze – but not Adams. “The greatest wealth of Black and brown people in this city is in their property. So when we start making any decisions on small property owners, we need to factor that,” Adams said recently. “Because if we’re not going to freeze mortgage payments for small property owners, if we’re not going to rollback their mortgage payments, then we need to be careful.”
City & State article continued.
At no point has Adams unequivocally defended the idea of freezing rents, something Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Rent Guidelines Board has done. Instead, he invoked a myth: that small property-owners control much of the rent-stabilized housing in New York City, when in fact they really don’t. Likewise, Adams once said, “What is real estate? I’m real estate in the fact that I own a small home,” Adams told the Daily News in an interview last February. But rent regulations affect only buildings with more units than Adams owns, and those buildings are overwhelmingly owned by large landlords with vast holdings.
Those landlords will have an ally in Adams, like they had an ally in former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. While Albany has swung to the left on rent-stabilization, with progressive Democrats gaining power in the Legislature, there will be little to stop Adams from appointing members to the Rent Guidelines Board who are close to the real estate industry, which deeply resents when rents are not increased annually.
When Adams, last year, shouted out that newer residents should “go back to Iowa,” he was blaming individual migrants to New York for increasing housing costs and causing displacement – rather than focusing on the policies that could fix the undersupply of affordable housing, like rezonings lacking in affordable housing mandates or the slow gutting of rent stabilization. But those policies could conflict with the agenda of the real estate industry and its generous donors to Adams’ campaign, so instead Adams railed against people who just want to live in New York City.