New York City Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, who oversaw economic developments and the city’s troubled public housing system, will step down in 2019, officials announced Wednesday.
A successor has not yet been named, but Glen is expected to remain in office until one is appointed.
Glen, a former Goldman Sachs executive for 12 years, was appointed New York City deputy mayor for housing and economic development in Dec. 2013. She was primarily tasked with expanding and preserving New York City affordable housing.
Her tenure in the role coincided with a particularly difficult time with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), including worsening conditions for public housing residents and the threat of a federal takeover by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Glen did implement Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan to create or preserve 200,000 affordable housing units by 2022, enacted initiatives to create a tech talent pipeline and launch the citywide NYC Ferry service.
Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen pours champagne to celebrate as Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomes NYC Ferry to the New York Harbor, April 2017. Getty Images
She’s also been criticized beyond NYCHA, however, for her role in bringing Amazon HQ2 to New York City and overseeing the deal with the tech giant that resulted in $3 billion in incentives.
Reactions to Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen resigning
The mayor commended Glen, writing on Twitter that, “From building and protecting the most affordable housing in our history to growing our tech industry to knocking down barriers for women, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen has opened doors for New Yorkers of every background and made our city a fairer place.”
Others, though , had harsher comments about the Deputy Mayor’s departure.
“Alicia Glen leaves behind a failed legacy for the record hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who experienced homelessness under her watch,” said Giselle Routhier, policy director at Coalition for the Homeless, in a statement. “The Housing New York plan she oversaw has created and preserved housing that is not truly affordable for those that need it most. Under Glen, just 5 percent of affordable housing units have been allocated for the homeless, at a time when more than 23,000 children sleep in shelters each night.”
Routhier added that whoever succeeds Glen as Deputy Mayor “must change course and ensure that the billions we are spending each year on housing provides a meaningful impact on all-time record homelessness.”
At a press conference Wednesday, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said that Glen’s legacy as New York City Deputy Mayor was “nuanced.”
“She and I have not always seen eye-to-eye but personally I like her,” he added. “I’m grateful for her service. Certainly she’s accomplished a lot as it relates to affordable housing. I think there’s a conversation around the deep affordability that you need as part of that affordable housing. I think there’s a myriad of issues around public housing authority that we’re seeing right now…Any legacy, I think for anyone — not just Deputy Mayor Glen but any mayor, speaker or councilor — is going to be nuanced.”