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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 7-08
Friday, April 4, 2008

Seth McM. Donlin (212) 863-5176


THE CENTER FOR NEW YORK CITY NEIGHBORHOODS ANNOUNCES SELECTION OF MICHAEL HICKEY AS FOUNDING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

New Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Not-For-Profit Will Be Headed by Longtime Community Development Leader

The board of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods (CNYCN), in conjunction with the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the New York City Council, today announced the selection of Michael Hickey as the Center’s first Executive Director. Hickey’s appointment was approved by the CNYCN board on Wednesday. Since 1998, Hickey has served as Vice President of Community Development for Deutsche Bank, one of the top three investment banks in the world.  The CNYCN is an independent, not-for profit entity that was founded by the City of New York, the New York City Council and non-profit partners to fund a major expansion and coordination of counseling and referral services, legal assistance, loan remediation, preventive outreach and education, training, research and advocacy around sub-prime lending and mortgage foreclosures. The initiative has a projected budget of $5.3 million in the first year and will seek to assist up to 18,000 New Yorkers annually.  The number of foreclosure auctions in New York City in February 2008 accounted for the highest monthly count of foreclosure auctions in the past five years, with 371 foreclosure auctions citywide, demonstrating the need for the CNYCN’s work.

“The CNYCN is a ground-breaking partnership that will help to protect homeowners and to build stronger, more stable neighborhoods,” said Housing Commissioner Donovan. “We are extremely lucky to have a leader like Michael Hickey taking the reins. Michael has worked at the intersection of the finance and not-for-profit worlds. We know that he will continue to develop and nurture the kinds of relationships that have allowed him to be so successful in all his previous endeavors.”

"The CNYCN will be the City's front line of defense in the battle against the foreclosure crisis," said Speaker Christine C. Quinn.  "With Michael Hickey at the helm, we have someone who has achieved success in both the private and non-profit sectors.  I look forward to working with him as we figure out the best way to help all New Yorkers who are at risk of losing their homes."

At Deutsche Bank Hickey acted as the community development program officer of the Americas Foundation, and co-managed a $350 million loan and investment portfolio as well as the bank’s New Initiatives Fund, a $15 million Program Related Investment (PRI) loan pool for high-risk, innovative community development initiatives. Prior to his work at Deutsche, Hickey served as an accounting consultant to Bankers Trust, a national leader in risk management, and ran his own consulting company, where he provided bookkeeping services, database solutions and business advisory for developing non-profits and small businesses.

“This is a critical time for New York City,” said Executive Director Hickey. “The growing mortgage foreclosure crisis is the most important issue likely to be faced by our communities in this decade. I’m confident, however, that if we can establish a real dialogue that extends from individuals to the mortgage industry leaders who have such an impact on the local and regional economy, we can act as an honest broker and provide the quality information and services needed to help keep families in their homes. In this effort, I am extremely lucky to have the support of an outstanding board and a committed and capable group of non-profit partners that have already done tremendous work.”

"It's great to have someone with Mike Hickey's qualifications on board," said Council Member Lew Fidler. "Now we can get down to the business of helping people in foreclosure distress in our city."

The CNYCN will be the largest, most comprehensive program of its kind in the nation. Funding in the first year will include $1 million from the Bloomberg administration via the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and $1.6 million from the City Council. In addition to these significant public funding commitments, the CNYCN planning committee has secured generous contributions from the Open Society Institute ($1 million a year for two years), the Rockefeller Foundation, Robin Hood, NeighborWorks America, Paulson & Co., Inc., Freddie Mac, Bank of America, Citi, Countrywide, Deutsche Bank, Fannie Mae, JP Morgan Chase, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd. and HSBC.

The Center for New York City Neighborhoods is governed by a Board of Directors, chaired by Herb Sturz, Senior Adviser to the Open Society Institute, and consisting of representatives from government, philanthropic institutions, the lending industry, academia, community based organizations and community leaders. Its work builds on the success of a pilot anti-predatory lending program, Preserve Assets and Community Equity (PACE) launched by the Mayor in October, 2005, and the City Council Predatory Lending Initiative.

New Yorkers will be able to access the services of the Center by dialing 311, the City’s customer service hotline, as well as through direct walk-ins to participating community-based organizations.

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