41st New York Housing Conference Awards Celebrate Innovative Affordable Housing Solutions

By Catherine Yang, Epoch Times
December 1, 2014 6:14 pm Last Updated: December 4, 2014 6:04 pm

New York City may be in the midst of a housing crisis, but this is also a period of unprecedented innovation and investment in affordable housing solutions, according to Rachel Fee, executive director of the New York Housing Conference.

Next week, on Dec. 10, the New York Housing Conference and National Housing Conference 41st Annual Awards Program to celebrate four leaders in affordable housing. Prior to the ceremony, there are six symposiums covering several major challenges the affordable industry faces, and opportunities to overcome them. 

The theme this year is “Reaching New Heights,” and innovative ideas will be highlighted. 

“We really want to inspire the rest of the industry,” Fee said.

Best Practices

One of the morning panels focuses on a state initiative to leverage healthcare to fund affordable housing. 

In 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched the Medicaid Redesign effort, which ultimately created an Affordable Housing Work Group to implement supportive housing. Under this initiative, $75 million from 2012-2013 and $86 million from 2013-2014 were allocated towards supportive housing under the Medicaid budget. 

Other symposium panels include a discussion on the role the federal government may play in housing next year, and successful models for public housing. The morning panels start with “Term Limits: Housing Finance Opportunities and Challenges at the Local, State and Federal Level.”

Awards

The four honorees have worked on projects at the city, state, and federal level.

Alfred DelliBovi, president and CEO of Federal Home Loan Bank of New York for 21 years, established the bank’s Affordable Housing Program, one of the largest sources of private affordable housing funding in the country, providing over $5.2 billion in grants.

DelliBovi served as president of FHLBNY for 21 years, and prior to that had been a U.S. Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Administrator of the Urban Mass Transportation Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and New York State Assemblyman.

The nonprofit Asian Americans for Equality will receive an award for its work in developing and preserving 86 buildings and more than 800 units of housing to date, including the first low-income housing tax credit project in the city. The Equality Houses were built on the Lower East Side in 1985.

Private developer MacQuesten Companies is a woman-owned affordable housing development and construction management company based in Pelham. It has developed 11 buildings and 1,500 units of affordable housing in the city and Westchester County since 1992.

Darryl Towns, commissioner and CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, is receiving the Public Service Award. Towns was appointed commissioner in 2011 and responsible for the $1 billion House NY Program, the largest state investment in affordable housing in almost two decades, which will create and preserve over 14,000 units in five years.

CORRECTION: The program name and order was inaccurate in a previous version of this article. Epoch Times regrets this error.