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What Does the MMR Reveal About Progress on the De Blasio Administration’s Priorities? An Update

September 19, 2016

The Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) recently identified ten vital questions about the de Blasio Administration’s progress in implementing its priority initiatives that the 2016 Mayor’s Management Report (MMR) would answer. Yesterday that report was released and revealed that during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 the City made progress on three fronts.  On five others the change was ambiguous and for two questions the relevant data are a cause for concern.

Making Progress

  • Are ambulances and fire trucks responding to emergencies more quickly? The Fire Department’s response times to life-threatening medical emergencies and structural fires held steady between fiscal year 2015 and 2016. While not an improvement, the Department nevertheless deserves credit as it was able to maintain service quality even as the number of medical emergencies increased by 8 percent.
  • Is the city’s waste being managed in a more environmentally friendly manner? While the volume of refuse disposed increased slightly, the Department of Sanitation improved the recycling diversion rate by 6 percent, bringing the rate to 16.9 percent.
  • Is the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) increasing the supply of affordable housing? HPD surpassed its unit “completion” and ”start” goals in fiscal year 2016, increasing its completions by 82 percent and starts by 15 percent compared to fiscal year 2015.

Ambiguous Results

  • Are New York City jails becoming safer for inmates and guards? The fiscal year 2016 data suggest two divergent trends. The incidence of inmate assaults on staff decreased 8 percent, but the incidence of violence between inmates increased 26.5 percent to reach 47.8 incidents on average per month per 1,000 average daily inmates.
  • Is New York City Health + Hospitals (H+H)  attracting more customers and revenue? New York City H+H increased MetroPlus enrollment 6 percent, but the number of unique patients that the system served continued to decline in fiscal year 2016, as it did in fiscal year 2015.
  • Is the Human Resources Administration increasingly successful at helping people who receive cash assistance gain employment? Placements in employment grew by 0.9 percent in fiscal year 2016 but the overall caseload grew by a larger 2.6 percent.
  • Is  the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) becoming a more responsive and responsible landlord? It took NYCHA 1.6 fewer hours to resolve emergency work requests in fiscal year 2016 than in 2015, but its response time to non-emergency requests increased 5 percent to 14.7 days. 
  • Is the Department of Education better preparing young people for life after high school? Graduation and college/career preparedness rates for the 2015-2016 school year will be published in the fiscal year 2017 preliminary MMR.

Causes for Concern

  • Is New York City becoming safer? New York City’s long-run decline in major felony crimes suffered a modest reversal in fiscal year 2016, with 1,742 more such crimes committed in fiscal year 2016 than in fiscal year 2015 – an increase of 1.7 percent.
  • Is New York City’s homeless crisis abating? New York City shelters saw all three of its populations swell – the average number of families with children in shelters per day increased 2.3 percent, the adult family population grew almost 5 percent, and the number of single adults in shelters per day increased 12.3 percent.

Readers can examine recent trends in city services by visiting our interactive dashboard.