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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Press Room

June 21, 2004

Press contact: Carol Abrams (212) 863-5176


Housing Commissioner Shaun Donovan today announced the appointment of Rafael E. Cestero as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). The position had been vacant since December 2003. This appointment will be effective on August 2, 2004.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be working with Rafael. His addition completes what is already an extremely strong senior management team," said HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan.

"While we are sad to lose Rafael's extraordinary leadership at Enterprise New York, we are thrilled that he has this opportunity at HPD," said Bart Harvey, Chairman & CEO, The Enterprise Foundation. "We are confident that his presence there will only help strengthen an already strong relationship between HPD and Enterprise New York as we work toward our mutual goal of rebuilding neighborhoods and creating much needed affordable housing for New Yorkers."

"It has been a privilege for me to work with The Enterprise Foundation for the last 13 years and to be a part of the unbelievable revitalization that is the result of the collective efforts of organizations such as HPD and Enterprise New York," said Rafael Cestero, Director, Enterprise New York. "I am honored and deeply gratified to be asked to be a part of the remarkable team at HPD. I look forward to working with Commissioner Donovan and everyone at HPD to achieve Mayor Bloomberg's unprecedented commitment to creating and preserving 65,000 homes for New Yorkers."

Cestero has been with the Enterprise Foundation - one of HPD's most important partners in the affordable housing community - since 1990, most recently as its Director of New York Programs. In this capacity, he oversaw the development and financing of 1,600 units per year and $110 million in investment in New York annually. During his time at Enterprise, he has been responsible for Enterprise New York City's Special Needs Housing Program, which developed approximately 1,200 units of supportive housing between 1991 and 1996 and has managed Enterprise NYC projects including mixed-income family developments, occupied rehabilitation, and homeless housing that was syndicated using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit through Enterprise's subsidiary, Enterprise Social Investment Corporation. He has been responsible for budgeting, fiscal oversight, strategic planning, and new initiatives development.

Rafael received his Masters degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his undergraduate degree in Public Policy Analysis from Cornell University.

HPD's Office of Development consists of the divisions of Homeownership, Housing Finance, Neighborhood Planning, and Special Needs Housing. Its success is critical to Mayor Bloomberg's "New Housing Marketplace: Creating Housing for the Next Generation" plan to fund the new construction and preservation of 65,000 homes and apartments over the next five years. HPD is on target for this goal with 10,197 units in the development pipeline.

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