Plenary Session with Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz and Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas
9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Thu
Jessica Katz serves as chief housing officer, overseeing the city’s housing agencies and affordable housing strategy. Her portfolio will include HPD, HDC, NYCHA, the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations (HRO), and the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT). She will report to First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo.
Katz was most recently the executive director of the Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC), an 80-year-old research and advocacy organization focused on housing and planning issues in New York City. At CHPC, she led a policy and research agenda that included projects, such as basements apartment conversions, a New Lens for NYC’s Housing Plan, Resident Decision-Making at NYCHA, Equitable Code Enforcement, and many other initiatives.
Before CHPC, Katz was with HPD, where she most recently served as the associate commissioner for New Construction. In that role, she oversaw the creation of affordable and special needs housing. She has held a variety of roles at HPD, including as assistant commissioner of Special Needs Housing, senior advisor to the commissioner, and assistant commissioner for Preservation Finance. Katz began her career with HPD in 2003 and started as the production manager for Special Needs Housing, gaining in-depth experience in the creation of housing for seniors and New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. She left HPD in 2009 to become the executive director of Lantern Group, a not-for-profit that operates social service programs across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as 1,000 units of permanent supportive housing.
Katz received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Geography from McGill University and went on to receive a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.