Message from HPD Commissioner Been

September 20, 2016

Dear Partners:

As you may have heard, there are many exciting transitions underway at HPD and HDC. On August 11, Mayor de Blasio announced that HDC President Gary Rodney would be stepping down at the end of September to become Chairman of CREA, LLC, a national low-income housing tax-credit syndicator based in Indiana. At the same time, in what was bittersweet news for all of us at HPD, the Mayor nominated our own Deputy Commissioner for Development, Eric Enderlin, to serve as the new HDC President, pending a vote by the HDC Board on September 22. I’ll say more about both Gary and Eric in a moment.

Since the announcement, I have consulted with dozens of our partners about the right successor for a development chief who many of us think of as almost irreplaceable. I have also talked with a range of superb candidates.

After an extensive search, I am thrilled to announce that Molly Park, Chief Operating Officer of Settlement Housing Fund, will be HPD’s new Deputy Commissioner for Development upon Eric’s departure.

Many of you know Molly from her time at HPD, where she served as Deputy Commissioner of Budget, Fiscal, and Performance Management from 2010 to 2014. In that role, Molly was responsible for the management of HPD’s expense and capital budgets, the administration of HPD’s Section 8 program, the operation of HPD’s accounts payable and receivable functions, and the tracking and analysis of HPD’s performance metrics.

She was the Agency’s intermediary with the Office of Management and Budget, and learned real estate finance the hard way, by having to explain (and defend) our transactions to OMB. She was also critically involved in policy development and operational decision making for the agency. She played a leadership role in the New Housing Marketplace Plan, the use of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds in the response to Superstorm Sandy, and many other agency-wide strategic planning efforts. She was known throughout the agency as a terrific manager, a hard-driving no-excuses advocate for changes to improve the efficiency and accountability of our processes, and a creative problem-solver.

Since joining Settlement Housing, Molly has expanded her affordable housing expertise by overseeing Settlement’s development activity, supervising proposal submissions, underwriting, coordination with funders and other members of the development team, and land use approvals. She worked tirelessly at Settlement to create an asset management function to ensure comprehensive oversight of and planning for the portfolio of 1,700 units in 26 buildings, and also has been key to Settlement’s strategic planning efforts. Most recently, Molly was part of the team that navigated a complex transaction to preserve the affordability of 14 buildings and 893 units of affordable housing for another generation of tenants.

Prior to her first stint at HPD, Molly’s five years at the Independent Budget Office gave her a keen understanding of how to use both quantitative fiscal and qualitative programmatic analysis to ensure that the City’s housing programs are well run and doing everything possible to leverage the City’s financing investments. A graduate of Amherst College, Molly has her Master’s in Public Policy from the University of California - Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. As a collaborative and thoughtful partner with a terrific track record inside and outside the agency, Molly is well-positioned to take the helm and lead the next phase of our critically important affordable housing development work. She begins at HPD on October 13.

She steps into very big shoes. Under Eric Enderlin’s dynamic leadership, we have seen an historic rise in the number of affordable units financed across New York City, with an impressive 53,000 units since the beginning of 2014 – enough to house almost 140,000 New Yorkers! While many said our goal of 200,000 affordable homes in ten years was too ambitious and couldn’t be done, Eric was never deterred. His visionary ideas, sound policy instincts, expert management, and unflagging sense of optimism have helped us to navigate a bold course.

Our success is built on smart and innovative strategies that Eric introduced, from the revisions to our term sheets to ensure we stretch every public dollar as far as it can go and leverage every available funding source, to the design of new programs like ELLA and SARA that have helped us reach more of the lowest income New Yorkers, including our seniors and the homeless. Eric was instrumental in strengthening our Inclusionary Housing programs, developing MIH, and establishing a green preservation program. He also led the critical work of preserving Stuyvesant Town and Riverton, historically significant sources of working class and middle-income housing that were at risk of becoming market-rate. All of this while working with his team to streamline our systems and processes from BLDS e-Submit to our new online 420-c and Tax Credit applications process.

Eric created an unbelievable dream team, led so expertly by Louise Carroll and Miriam Colon in Housing and Tax Incentives, Kim Darga in Preservation Finance, John Gearrity in BLDS, Leon Hovsepian in Credit and Special Underwriting, Leora Jontef in Sandy Recovery, Jessica Katz in Special Needs Housing, Lisa Talma in Property Disposition and Finance, and Susan Kensky in New Construction Finance, who recently retired after more than three decades of amazing service. The development team’s extraordinary expertise and skill, paired with Molly’s leadership, and Eric’s partnership at HDC, will ensure that we don’t skip a beat in our efforts to provide affordable housing to the families and individuals struggling across the City to have the stable and affordable housing that is so critical to New Yorker’s opportunities, health, and security.

I congratulate Eric for the tremendous work he has done at HPD and for his nomination by Mayor de Blasio. I look forward to working closely with him to make this transition a smooth and seamless one, and to further our efforts to strengthen our partnership with HDC, and unify our work with HUD, HCR, and our other colleagues in government, as well as our many partners in affordable housing.

I also want to thank Gary Rodney for his tireless commitment and excellent leadership as HDC President. Gary has been an incredible partner in all our efforts to craft and implement Housing New York.

His encyclopedic knowledge about real estate finance, financial acumen, astute judgment, and the creativity and aggressiveness he brought to bear on expanding sources of financing for our housing have made all our efforts so much more efficient and productive. And his level-headed approach to every problem and unflappable good nature under pressure have made our work together a lot of fun.

We will miss him terribly, but are so grateful for the time he devoted to the City’s efforts to provide affordable housing across the City. Gary has become a dear friend and trusted partner, and I wish him and his family all the best as they embark on this exciting new endeavor.

Please join me in welcoming Molly Park back to HPD; congratulating Eric Enderlin on his nomination; and wishing Gary Rodney the very best in his new role.

 




Vicki Been
HPD Commissioner