NALHFA Mentioned in Article in the February 2012 issue of the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits:New Issue Bond Program Helps HFAs Achieve Record Production Levels
New Head for New York City Housing Department NamedMathew Wambua moves up from head finance arm of city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development to succeed Rafael Cestero, who leaves next week; 165,000 homes goal.
The city announced Thursday morning that Mathew Wambua has been named commissioner of the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development. He will replace Rafael Cestero, who will be leaving the post at the end of this month.
Mr. Wambua has been executive vice president of real estate and external relations at the city's Housing Development Corp., the larger department's finance arm—one of the nation's largest issuers of multi-family affordable housing bonds—since 2008. In that role, he oversaw underwriting and financing of more than 36,000 affordable housing units. Mr. Wambua also led the restructuring and streamlining of the Housing Development Corp.'s asset-management division.
In January, Mr. Cestero announced that he would be leaving his post to join L+M Development Partners, an affordable housing developer, as a managing director effective May 1. Mr. Wambua's appointment was not a surprise. He, along with Housing Preservation First Deputy Commissioner Douglas Apple, were seen as the prime candidates to take over as commissioner, sources said.
"We're two-thirds of the way through completing the most ambitious affordable housing plan underway anywhere in the nation, and Mat's leadership, intelligence and financial acumen will help us meet our goals,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in a statement. "Throughout the country, difficult economic conditions and strained budgets forced cities to slash plans for affordable housing developments, but in New York City we've stayed on track—and even increased our total investments—thanks to smart and innovative financial planning."
Mr. Wambua has worked in the Bloomberg administration for nine years. Prior to joining Housing Development, he was a senior policy advisor overseeing agencies including Housing Preservation, Housing Development and the city's Economic Development Corp. He reported to Daniel Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding.
"I am well aware that I am riding the wake of some very talented and visionary leaders,” said Mr. Wambua, in a statement. "Having worked side-by-side with Shaun Donovan and Rafael Cestero in creating and implementing the mayor's new housing marketplace plan, I am looking forward to taking on this new responsibility of leading HPD and bringing the housing plan to the finish line.”
Housing Preservation has been charged with implementing the $8.4 billion new housing marketplace plan, which aims to create and preserve more than 165,000 homes across the city. Over the last seven years, with help from private and nonprofit partners, Housing Preservation has begun construction or renovation of 112,000 affordable housing units. Since Mr. Cestero took the department's top post in March 2009, he has been credited with helping the city meet those ambitious goals and embarking on an effort to rescue overleveraged properties across the city.
Mr. Wambua is expected to follow in his footsteps. "It is terrific. It shows continuity to the mayor's affordable housing plans and work done under both Commissioners Donovan and Cestero,” said Abby Jo Sigal, vice president and New York manager at Enterprise Community Partners, an affordable housing nonprofit. "Mat's a thoughtful guy and known for getting things done.”
NALHFA Secretary Marc Jahr Honored by New York Housing Conference
Marc Jahr, President of the New York City Housing Development Corporation and Secretary of the National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies was honored December 9, 2010 by the New York Housing Conference. Marc received the Public Service Award at the 37th Annual Awards Luncheon at the Hilton New York.
The New York Housing Conference (NYHC) is a broad-based coalition of non-profit and private developers, owners, managers, professionals, and funders of affordable housing whose goal is decent affordable housing for all New Yorkers. NYHC advocates for the housing needs of all New Yorkers through education and positive change in public policy.
NHYC also presented the Clara Fox Award for Outstanding Achievement award to William R. Frey of Enterprise Community Partners, the Non-profit Developer of the Year Award to F.E.G.S. Health and Human Services System and the Private Developer of the Year Award to The Bluestone Organization. It also gave special recognition to the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York on the 20th Anniversary of its Affordable Housing Program.