ABO Developments - Summer 2011 - (Page 6)

COMMISSIONER WAMBUA AT ABO LUNCHEON: HPD on Target with Development Goals BY S T E V E N C U T L E R A t an address to ABO members at the June 9 luncheon, Matthew Wambua, the recently appointed Commissioner of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), said that despite the challenges it’s faced, including some funding cutbacks, Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan remains on target. Announced in 2003, the Mayor’s ambitious affordable housing plan, administered by the HPD and its sister agency, the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), aimed to develop or renovate 165,0000 homes for low-to-middle income residents in the five boroughs by 2014. “We have hit 115,000 units already,” said Wambua, “and we expect to do 14,600 units in this fiscal year alone. It is a testament to what New York is capable of doing in terms of the professionalism at HPD and to the partnership that we have with ABO and the individuals here with whom we have had the privilege to work with for so many years.” As a result of this partnership between the HPD and the real estate community, Wambua boasted, “over the course of the plan we will have created 156,000 jobs.” None of this has been easy, Wambua was quick to add, in this era of austerity. “From the inception of the plan we’ve seen cuts of close to $750 million for the duration of the entire plan.” Half of the funding for the plan, originally set for $8.2 billion, comes from the city, which is in belt-tightening mode on projects citywide. Despite these budgetary setbacks, HPD has been able to stick to its schedule on the completion of units, said Wambua, “in large part from our ability to find alternate sources of funding, including the 421A fund. And the hidden fuel here really is the HDC, which has done amazing work. The initial expectation was that we were going to be distributing $500 million in capital subsidies to get this plan done. In fact, we are already at $1 billion in terms of the amount they have contributed from their coffers — and it will be $1.2 billion by the end of the plan.” Beyond the New Housing Marketplace Plan, the HPD faces challenges in its other operations, also due to budget cuts. “One thing most people probably don’t know is that the majority of our operating budget comes from federal sources,” explained Wambua. “For example, in 2011 we have 6 | A B O D E V E LO P ME NTS • www.abogny.com http://www.abogny.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABO Developments - Summer 2011

A Letter from the Executive Director
Commissioner Wambua at ABO Luncheon
The Doe Fund – Building Affordable Housing in New York City
Builders Roundtable – Commissioning New Development
Revitalized RAM Program Gets New Membership Coordinator
Index of Advertisers/Advertisers Dot Com

ABO Developments - Summer 2011