Thursday, January 19, 2017

Maria Torres-Springer takes charge of New York’s housing agency; Vicki Been abjures



Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced this week that Maria Torres-Springer, current head of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), will be replacing Vicki Been as commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

The shakeup comes on the heels of Carl Weisbrod’s decision earlier this month to leave his job as chair of the City Planning Commission for the Trust for Governors Island. (Unrelated to architecture and planning, de Blasio’s commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services, Gladys Carrión, left her post last month.)

“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,” Been said, in a statement. “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.”

Been, a law professor, is headed back to New York University to teach and will return to directing the university’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.

Torres-Springer is leaving her role as president and CEO of NYCEDC. At the agency she spearheaded the nascent revamp of Spofford, a former juvenile detention facility in the Bronx, into a mixed-use development with a large affordable housing component.

“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,” said Torres-Springer, in a statement. “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.”

James Patchett, deputy mayor Alicia Glen’s chief of staff, will succeed Torres-Springer at NYCEDC.

Agency leaders will expect their new roles on February 6.

News Via The Architect's Newspaper
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