Mayor Eric Adams delivers State of the City address

Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday laid out his vision for 2024 in his third State of the City address, as he marks the halfway point of his mayoral term.

"Stay focused, no distractions and grind," Mayor Adams said in his speech.

But the biggest focus of the day? The critical need for more housing. And almost everyone on the city and state level agreed.

"There is no question, this is absolutely the year for housing," City Councilman Keith Powers said.

When it comes to creating more housing, Adams is asking state lawmakers to pass legislation to address four things.

Mayor Eric Adams delivers the State of the City address at the Queens Theatre in Flushing Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 in Queens, New York. (Photo by Barry Williams for NY Daily News via Getty Images)

One, a new affordable housing tax incentive to replace 421-a. State lawmakers allowed the measure to lapse, but progressive lawmakers have been hesitant to pass a replacement unless it includes tenant protection measures.

Two, the Adams administration is urging lawmakers to pass legislation to make basement and cellar apartments legal.

Three, city officials are looking to Albany to create a tax incentive so developers can turn empty office buildings into affordable homes.

And four, Adams is asking state legislators go lift the cap on density to allow for new construction.

"Now is the time to aim even higher," Adams said. "That is why we had the moonshot goal of building 500,000 housing units over the next decade"

Adams also says he is going to be moving up a goal to create 5 million public and private sector jobs by 2025.

Kathryn Wylde the CEO of the Partnership for New York City, which represents hundreds of the city’s largest employers, says the biggest roadblocks to this goal are public safety and housing.

"If we don't keep public safety moving in the right direction, then that's a roadblock and if we have a lack of affordable housing, that's a roadblock," Wylde said.

When it comes to Albany, Adams additionally is asking state lawmakers to pass legislation that will allow the city to crack down on the hundreds of illegal weed stores.

The Adams administration on Thursday also become the first city in the nation to officially declare social media as an environmental toxin.

The City’s Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan says that they are advising parents to delay initiation of social media until kids are 14 years old and to carve out tech free times in their kids’ day.

"If you look at the data, mental health in young people got worse in and around the time that smartphones with social media platforms became ubiquitous - around 2011 2012," Commissioner Vasan said. "And so this is a clear and present danger."

However the migrant crisis was only briefly mentioned in the Mayor’s speech.

Adams has been pleading with the federal government for more assistance and slashing the budgets of city agencies.

We asked Public Advocate Jumaane Williams if this topic should have been addressed in more detail.

"I think he's correct, that there is not the federal response that we need," Williams said. "I think he should have said this also not the state response that we need and the response from the governor that we need, like a decompression strategy."

Adams also launched a first in the nation Department of Sustainable Delivery which will regulate new forms of delivery transit to cut the city's carbon footprint, and will raise awareness about the dangers of lithium-ion batteries.