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Housing advocates are raising alarms about insufficient capital resources and staffing cuts to New York City agencies.

Led by the New York Housing Conference, affordable housing supporters have sent a letter to mayor Eric Adams ahead of the release of a preliminary budget that is expected to focus on cutting costs. According to the letter, recent press reports have indicated that city departments are being required to cut half of their vacant positions as of Oct. 31.

“The agencies that work on housing had significant vacancies at the end of October,” says the Jan. 5 letter signed by more than 100 housing groups. “The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) was short almost 500 positions, 18% of their budgeted headcount; the Department of Buildings is short 449 positions (235), the Department of City Planning is short 79 positions (22%), the Department of Homeless Services is short 234 positions (11%), and the Human Resources Administration is short 2,614 positions (20%).” The supporters stress that the staffing shortages are delaying necessary services.

At HPD, the staffing shortage meant the agency produced just 16,000 units of affordable housing in fiscal year 2022, 43% fewer than the 28,000 units produced in 2021, and they are projecting producing just 18,000 units in fiscal 2023, still far below previous housing production, according to the letter.

The groups also raise alarms about insufficient capital for HPD at a time when construction costs increased 11.5% in 2021 and were expected to increase 14.1% last year. They call for additional new capital to address the housing crisis.

For more details, read the full letter.