Eric Adams Has One Big Problem

Mayor of New York City Eric Adams is facing negative opinions about his housing and homelessness record, which threatens his overall standing with New Yorkers.

According to exclusive polling of 974 New York residents by Redfield & Wilton Strategies for Newsweek, the New York mayor enjoys high approval ratings on themes including the economy and crime but is being hampered by his record on housing and homelessness.

In November 2023, there were 92,879 homeless people, including 33,399 homeless children, sleeping each night in New York City’s main municipal shelter system, according to figures from the Coalition of the Homeless. It reported that a total of 24,036 single adults slept in shelters each night in December 2023.

Meanwhile, the median sale price of a home in New York City was $779,500 as of February, according to Redfin. This is up 2.6 percent year-over-year. The median price of a home in the U.S., at the national level, was $412,219 in the same month, up 6.5 percent compared to a year before.

Eric Adams
Eric Adams attends a memorial for the 30th anniversary of the killing of teenager Ari Halberstam on the Brooklyn Bridge on March 01, 2024 in New York City. According to exclusive polling for Newsweek, the…

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The polling found that 40 percent strongly disapprove or disapprove of his performance with housing and homelessness with the largest proportion (22 percent) saying they strongly disapproved of it. 35 percent said they approved or strongly disapproved of his record while a further 20 percent said they neither approved or disapproved.

The survey was conducted between May 12 and May 14. The margin of error is +/- 3.14 percent.

Responding to the poll, David Giffen, Executive Director of the Coalition for Homeless told Newsweek it was unsurprising “that New Yorkers are unhappy” with the mayor’s housing record.

He said: “Given that there are more than 140,000 people sleeping in NYC shelters every night, it’s no surprise that New Yorkers are unhappy with the mayor’s failure at addressing the city’s severe housing and homeless crisis. By continuing to ignore the root cause of the crisis—the lack of affordable housing, which is only getting worse each year—our elected leaders are risking a real backlash. A system in which having a roof over one’s head is a luxury is just not sustainable.”

Despite the negative polling, the survey also found that 45 percent approve or strongly approve of his overall job performance, while 30 percent disapprove or strongly disapprove.

With regards to the economy, 46 percent said they approved of Adams’ record, while 28 percent disapproved.

A further 45 percent approved of his record on policing and crime, while 35 percent disapproved.

Adams, who has been mayor since 2022, also enjoyed positive feedback with respect to his record on public transport and garbage and waste management.

Newsweek contacted Adams’ office via website form to comment on this story.

The survey also examined New Yorkers’ opinions on squatters, defined by the American Apartment Owners Association (AAOA), as any individual who decides to inhabit a piece of land or a building in which they have no legal right to occupy.

71 percent are in favor of the bill redefining squatters as trespassers, with 43 percent saying they strongly supported it and a further 28 percent saying they supported it.

Just 5 percent said they opposed it, while 3 percent said they strongly opposed it, 16 percent said they neither supported or opposed it, and 5 percent said they did not know.