FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2000
Press Contacts: Carol Abrams (HPD): (212) 863-5176
Sunny Mindel / Curt Ritter: (212) 788-2958
MAYOR GIULIANI ANNOUNCES THAT HOUSING PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSIONER RICHARD T. ROBERTS HAS ACCEPTED A POSITION IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today announced that Richard T. Roberts, who has served as the Commissioner for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) for the past three years, will leave the Administration to accept a position at Goldman Sachs. In his new position, Commissioner Roberts will develop initiatives focused on enhancing economic growth in urban areas.
"Richard has been instrumental in our City's success in offering thousands of low- and moderate-income families the opportunity to purchase their own homes," said Mayor Giuliani. "As a result of Richard's efforts over the past three years, this spring HPD received its second Innovations in American Government Award -- one of the most prestigious public service awards in the country -- from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Under Richard's stewardship, HPD has directed nearly one billion dollars of investment to New York City's distressed neighborhoods, creating over 40,000 housing units. I want to thank him for his work and wish him the best of luck at Goldman Sachs."
Commissioner Roberts said, "My service in the Giuliani administration has been extremely rewarding to me both professionally and personally. I would like to thank Mayor Giuliani for providing me with the opportunity to serve the people of New York City. I would also like to thank the nearly 3,000 employees of HPD who have been extremely supportive of my work. Their efforts, along with HPD's partnerships with the private sector, have had a tremendous impact on the lives of thousands of New Yorkers, especially those in the South Bronx, Harlem, Southeast Queens and Central Brooklyn. It has been an honor to serve in this Administration, and I look forward to further contributing to New York and cities around the country through my work at Goldman Sachs."
Under Mr. Roberts HPD has focused on the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing, the disposition of City-owned real estate, and the effective management of buildings still in the City's portfolio. He has also applied agency resources to the preservation of the privately-owned housing stock in a series of initiatives known as PRO Housing (Pathways to Responsible Ownership) in an effort to maximize the quality and availability of housing Citywide. As a result of these efforts, the U.S. Census Bureau's Housing and Vacancy Survey found conditions in these privately owned housing stock were better than at any point in the nearly 35 years of the survey.
A signature project developed under Mr. Roberts is the Fulton Ralph Plaza in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the first of 12 ANCHOR (Alliance for Neighborhood Commerce, Homeownership and Revitalization) sites to be completed. ANCHOR aims to revitalize distressed communities by increasing both homeownership and commercial development. Mr. Roberts began working on ANCHOR as an Assistant to the Mayor in 1994 and, as Commissioner, was able to implement one of the City's primary strategies for building stable and sustainable communities. Saratoga Square, where Fulton Ralph Plaza is located, has been the focus of significant investment in affordable housing by the City in recent years. Since 1994, over 1,000 units in new one- to four- family homes have been completed for middle-income families and 2,300 housing units have been rehabilitated through HPD programs.
Mr. Roberts also served as Chairman of the Board of the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), the City's multi-family housing bond issuer. Under his tenure, HDC set records for housing production and financing and developed a several innovative initiatives among them, the New Housing Opportunities Program, New York City's first middle income housing program in nearly 25 years. Another HDC project of note is the deSales Residence, an assisted living project in Harlem for low- and moderate- income senior citizens.
Commissioner Roberts' resignation is effective July 21, 2000. Ms. Jerilyn Perine, currently First Deputy Commissioner at HPD, will serve as Commissioner.