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Fiscal Year 2017 Progress on de Blasio Priorities

September 20, 2017

Last September, CBC identified 10 key questions corresponding to Mayor de Blasio’s policy priorities and used Mayor’s Management Report (MMR) indicators to assess progress. With the release of the fiscal year 2017 MMR earlier this week, the analysis has been updated with data for the most recent year. The report shows steady progress for three indicators, mixed results for four, and three as cause for concern.[1]

Steady Progress:

Is New York City becoming safer? There were 6.3 percent fewer major felonies committed in New York City in fiscal year 2017 than in fiscal year 2016. The trend held true for each of the seven major felony crimes, with Grand Larceny Auto declining the most (14.5 percent) and Felonious Assaults the least (1.1 percent). This result is an improvement from fiscal year 2016, when major felonies increased 1.7 percent over the prior year.

Is the Department of Education (DOE) better preparing students for life after high school? The indicators in this report relate to the 2015-2016 school year (fiscal year 2016) as fiscal year 2017 data are not yet available. The share of students graduating high school in four years increased to 72.6 percent in fiscal year 2016, up from 70.5 percent the year before, and a greater share of these students, 37.2 percent, was deemed college/career ready, up from 34.6 percent the previous year.

Is the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) increasing the supply of affordable housing? In fiscal year 2017, as part of Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York plan, HPD financed 24,293 units of affordable housing (7,705 were new construction and 16,588 were preservation) and work was completed on 17,736 units (5,224 new construction and 12,515 preservation).[2] HPD exceeded its overall targets for starts and completions and exceeded the target on preservation units, but was slightly below target on new construction units. CBC’s recently updated Housing Plan mapshows the location of these units.

Mixed Results:

Are ambulances and fire trucks responding to emergencies more quickly? After remaining unchanged between fiscal years 2015 and 2016, the Fire Department’s response times to serious medical emergencies improved, while responses to fire emergencies worsened slightly. Average ambulance response times to life-threatening medical emergencies decreased by 17 seconds (4.0 percent). This may be due in part to a 3.6 percent increase in ambulance tours per day and a 1.2 percent decrease in life-threatening medical incidents. For the seventh year in a row, average response times to structural fires worsened, increasing by 2 seconds to 4 minutes and 13 seconds, despite a 3 percent decrease in the number of structural fires.

Is the City’s waste being managed in a more environmentally friendly manner? After four years of decline, the amount of refuse disposed of by the city increased 0.5 percent to reach 3.2 million tons. Meanwhile the recycling diversion rate continued to improve, up from 16.9 percent to 17.4 percent citywide. To learn more about the City’s Zero Waste by 2030 plan, see CBC testimony submitted to the New York City Council Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management.

Is the Human Resources Administration (HRA) successful at helping people receiving cash assistance gain employment?  The number of people enrolled in cash assistance declined 1.4 percent last year, following a 3.4 percent increase between fiscal years 2013 and 2016. However, the number of clients whom HRA helped to obtain employment declined by  4.7 percent. 

Is the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) becoming a more responsible landlord? It took NYCHA an average of 12.1 hours to resolve an emergency service request, 7.6 percent shorter than fiscal year 2016. Response time to non-emergency service requests, however, increased 19.0 percent, reaching 17.5 days. This is longer than in fiscal years 2016 and 2015, but a substantial improvement on response times in the 28- to 43-day range in fiscal years 2011 to 2014.

Causes for Concern

Are New York City jails becoming safer for inmates and guards? Despite a 14-point anti-violence plan, staffing increases, and a court-ordered independent monitor, the incidence of violence in New York City jails continues to rise.[3] The rate of violent inmate-on-inmate incidents increased 15.5 percent, while violent inmate assaults on staff increased by 6.3 percent.

Is New York City’s homeless crisis abating? Despite considerable investments in homelessness prevention and re-housing initiatives, all three of the City’s homeless populations increased. The average daily census of adult families increased 11.3 percent to 2,461, the single adult census grew 7.1 percent to 13,626, and families with children increased 6.0 percent to 12,818. Some progress has been made, however, particularly for families with children. The number of families with children entering shelters declined 5.4 percent. The average length of stay declined 3.9 percent for families with children and 2.3 percent for adult families. To learn more about homeless services in New York City read our blog post, How Much Is Enough?.

Is NYC Health+Hospitals (NYC H+H) attracting more customers and revenue? Attracting new patients and insurance enrollees is integral to the financial turnaround of NYC H+H. The number of unique patients served by NYC H+H (both in and outpatient) declined by 3.0 percent in fiscal year 2017, following a 0.3 percent decline in the prior year.  The average number of MetroPlus enrollees reached 503,044 in fiscal year 2017, an increase of 0.4 percent from fiscal year 2016; however, MetroPlus enrollment has trended downward from a high of 509,186 in December 2016 to 499,587 in May 2017.[4]


  1. Every September the Mayor’s Office of Operations publishes the Mayor’s Management Report (MMR). The MMR contains performance indicators for each of the City’s 44 agencies and organizations that capture the volume, quality, and efficiency of work being done according to each agency’s core goals. See: City of New York, Mayor’s Office of Operations, Mayor’s Management Report (September 2017),
  2. City of New York, Mayor’s Office, Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan (May 2014),
  3. Council of the City of New York, Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services, Report of the Finance Division on the Fiscal 2018 Preliminary Budget and the Fiscal 2017 Preliminary Mayor’s Management Report for the Department of Correction, (March 9, 2017),
  4. NYC Health+Hospitals, Medical and Professional Affairs Committee Meeting Materials (May 18, 2017), p. 17,