Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced Maria Torres-Springer will serve as the next Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development when its current commissioner, Vicki Been, returns to teaching at New York University. The mayor is also appointing James Patchett as President and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
The City announced last week that under Been’s leadership, the administration was securing affordable housing at a rate not seen since the Koch Administration in 1989. Her exit comes three years into the Mayor’s signature Housing New York Plan, and after overseeing the financing of a record 62,500 affordable homes – enough for 170,000 New Yorkers. Been restructured City’s programs to reach a wider range of incomes and secure more affordable housing for every public dollar spent. She reformed the regulatory process to reduce the risk and cost of building and preserving affordable housing while ensuring its safety, quality, and financial stability. Been is returning to New York University as the Boxer Family Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Furman Center.
Maria Torres-Springer comes to HPD with deep experience securing affordable housing and working directly with communities on holistic neighborhood planning. As president of NYCEDC, and before that as the Mayor’s SBS commissioner, Torres-Springer has created and advanced transformational projects, including the re-imagining of Spofford, a former juvenile detention center in the Bronx as a hub for the arts and affordable housing. She has been the administration’s leader in developing the Downtown Far Rockaway Neighborhood Plan, which included more than $90 million in neighborhood investments and affordable housing to serve both the lowest-income New Yorkers and those in the middle class. Torres-Springer will build on Been’s legacy of protecting neighborhoods and developing record numbers of securely-financed affordable homes in increasingly challenging economic times.
Patchett is an architect of some of the administration’s most significant accomplishments, including saving 5,000 affordable homes at Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, protecting Harlem’s Riverton Houses, passing Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, and overhauling CitiBike.
James Patchett, who has served as Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen’s chief of staff and a key advisor to the mayor on housing and economic development, will take the reins at NYCEDC. At City Hall, Glen’s office oversees the work of 25 agencies, authorities and offices, including the Department of City Planning, the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development, the Economic Development Corporation, and the New York City Housing Authority. Patchett is an architect of some of the administration’s most significant accomplishments, including saving 5,000 affordable homes at Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, protecting Harlem’s Riverton Houses, passing Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, and overhauling CitiBike.
Peter Wertheim, currently Senior Advisor to Deputy Mayor Glen, will assume the Chief of Staff role. Wertheim has become one of the administration’s most trusted voices on policy and land use, most recently negotiating the acquisition of Bushwick Inlet Park by the City, fulfilling a decade-long goal of the community.
“With her signature brand of grit and grace, Vicki created and implemented our ambitious affordable housing plan. She is a brilliant public servant and law professor, and her students are lucky to have her back,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “As progressive thinkers and proven deal makers, Maria and James have worked closely with me to advance our most important initiatives. Together, we will continue to build on the successes our first three years, and make this city fairer and more affordable for everyone.”
The moves are effective Februaty 6th, 2017.
“Having grown up in Section 8 housing, I know first-hand that the work we do is a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of families. Housing is the top expense for New Yorkers, and for far too many rising rents threaten their ability to stay in the city they love. I’ve spent my career helping people secure better jobs with better wages, and developing neighborhood projects that provide affordable homes and economic opportunity. Vicki leaves big shoes to fill, but I’m honored to have a chance to keep up the record-breaking progress she’s achieved,” said Maria Torres-Springer.
“As we continue to build on the achievements of this administration, I am honored to serve as the new head of NYCEDC. With the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Maria, and all of our partners inside and outside of government, we will continue to make our city a 21st Century capital of commerce, culture and innovation,” said James Patchett.
“It has been an honor and privilege to lead HPD, and to be part of the Mayor’s all-star housing team. We came in with a bold agenda to change the paradigm for how we grow as a city. We promised to produce and preserve more affordable housing than ever achieved, to reach New Yorkers at a broad range of incomes, and to work with communities to ensure neighborhoods are diverse, inclusive, and rich in opportunity. We’ve financed 62,506 affordable residences, including the highest three years of new construction in the City’s history. We’ve changed the way we work to ensure that we achieve more affordable housing for every public dollar spent, and that our housing reaches the New Yorkers who need it most,” HPD Commissioner Vicki Been said. “I am very grateful to Mayor de Blasio for giving me the opportunity to help him make history. As we face the challenges ahead, I look forward to watching as Maria and the amazing HPD team make even further strides to keep New York City a city for all.”