Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Maria Torres-Springer

Maria Torres-Springer

  • Employers Reconsider College Degree Requirements in Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery

    Opening for business (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The pandemic has produced both soaring unemployment in New York City and a host of booming industries hungry for employees. Business leaders and the young administration of Mayor Eric Adams, alike, are looking to spend significant resources to connect candidates to jobs in traditional and emerging sectors. But executives are beginning to see one long-time driver of economic inequality as a particular barrier to tapping New York's 250,000-strong unemployed workforce: the college degree

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  • Experts Analyze Future of New York City's Central Business Districts

    At the stock exchange (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on New York City’s core Central Business Districts – particularly Midtown Manhattan and Lower Manhattan – which are home to the businesses and industries that are the biggest drivers of the city’s economy.

    The lockdown and stay-at-home orders forced by the pandemic changed the nature of work in the city and beyond, and though the office sector – including the information, financial and real estate, and professional and business services industries that occupy so much of the space

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  • How Mayor Adams is Reorganizing City Government

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Mayor Adams at City Hall (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Eric Adams came into office promising a more efficient and effective city government that doesn’t operate in silos and he’s taken steps in his first weeks on the job that he says will achieve that goal. Adams has reorganized the structure of city government, merged and consolidated several offices, created new roles while separating previously existing ones at the top of City Hall and established his top

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  • 'An Unprecedented Job Program': Adams Promises Overhaul of Workforce Development in New York City

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    Mayor Adams at a small business (photo: office of Eric Adams)


    New York City’s wounded economy and the rise and fall of key sectors during the pandemic has heightened pre-pandemic concerns about the match between the labor needs of employers and the skills of hundreds of thousands of jobseekers. Eric Adams made better preparing the city's workforce a major area of focus as he pitched his vision of the city's recovery to New Yorkers in his successful campaign for mayor.

    "We are going to launch an unprecedented job program to link

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  • We All Rely on Nonprofits — New York Must Value Them

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    New York nonprofits do it all (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    You've probably never heard of "National Nonprofit Day." The date, August 17, is pegged to the anniversary of a tariff bill passed in 1894 that outlined foundational requirements for tax-exempt status. A holiday based on the tax code has not exactly caught the public's imagination. There aren't even greeting cards.

    But most New Yorkers rely on nonprofits every single day without really thinking about it. So this year, let's use this obscure holiday to appreciate and

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  • Keys to 'Inclusive Economic Recovery' in New York City Include Investments in CUNY and Workforce Development, Experts Say

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    Considering an inclusive recovery in New York City (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    As the COVID-19 public health and economic crises continue, so does the conversation about recovery. This past week, the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), a nonprofit think tank focused on economic opportunity and equitable growth, hosted a digital discussion, “Ensuring an Inclusive Economic Recovery in NYC,” featuring several public policy experts.

    Jonathon Bowles, the executive director of CUF, opened the discussion saying “the immediate priorities are clear: keep people

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  • City Seeks Developers to Protect Affordability Through Housing Purchases

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    In October, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that his ambitious affordable housing plan was two years ahead of schedule, prompting him to expand his target of creating and preserving 200,000 affordable units by 2024 to 300,000 units by 2026. At the same time, the mayor said his administration would undertake efforts to increase the involvement of non-profit developers in keeping housing affordable, likely a response to critics who said the administration was relying too heavily on

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  • Comptroller Again Calls Out City on Vacant Land; City Again Punches Back

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    Comptroller Stringer press conference at a vacant lot (photo: Sam Raskin)


    Comptroller Scott Stringer held a press conference Monday morning in front of a vacant lot on West 115th Street to criticize the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) for “dragging its feet” on creating affordable housing on empty city-owned land.

    Stringer released an update to his 2016 audit on vacant lots, which initiated a reshashing of a yearslong dispute between the comptroller and the de Blasio administration over

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  • Brooklyn Armory Deal, and Larger De Blasio Development Debate, Move Toward Term Two

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    (Armory rendering via BFC) (photos within piece by Rachel Holliday Smith)


    Following years of ferocious debate, negotiation, protests and anguish, City Council Member Laurie Cumbo was finally ready to vote “yes” on the redevelopment of the publicly-owned, vacant Bedford-Union Armory.

    At very nearly the last minute, she and the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio worked out a deal for the Crown Heights building with the city’s chosen developer, BFC Partners, the night before a crucial City Council land use

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  • Key to Affordable Housing Development, Vacant Lots Remain Source of Controversy

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    On 43rd Street in Far Rockaway, Queens, sit five adjacent, vacant lots. Cordoned off by a chained-link, gray metal fence, the lots—owned by the city’s Department of Housing and Preservation (HPD)—are covered in weeds and garbage. They are “eyesores for the community,” said Alexis Smallwood, a local community organizer, in an interview with Gotham Gazette. “Vacant lots should be used for community spaces or real affordable housing.”

    These five lots are examples of the hundreds the Department of Housing and Preservation (HPD) could utilize for affordable housing. Since issuing an audit and fuller report in early

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  • What’s The [DATA] Point? 77,651, with the City Housing Commissioner

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    What's The Data Point? Episode 12 - 77,651 with Maria Torres-Springer, housing commissioner in the de Blasio administration [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For this episode of the podcast, we bring you excerpts of a speech the city's housing commissioner, Maria Torres-Springer, gave at a Citizens Budget Commission event on Wednesday, September 20, followed by 15 minutes of Q-and-A with the commissioner. You'll hear a brief

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  • Commissioner Puts Community Development at Forefront of Housing Plan

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    HPD Commissioner Torres-Springer, middle (photo: @MTorresSpringer)


    Discussing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan on Friday, the city’s housing commissioner stressed that it is also a program for community development.

    Speaking at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism's Center for Community and Ethnic Media, Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer, head of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, gave an update on the administration’s 10-year 200,000-unit ...