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Mayor de Blasio Appoints Vicki Been as New Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development

April 4, 2019

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today Vicki Been will serve as the new Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development. Been is a nationally recognized expert on land use, urban policy and affordable housing and is the former Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. As Deputy Mayor, Been will intensify and transform the City’s anti-displacement and affordability strategies and create economic opportunity for all New Yorkers.

“As HPD Commissioner, Vicki changed everything about affordable housing in New York City. As Deputy Mayor, she will dig deeper and ratchet up all our efforts to confront the biggest crisis facing our city: affordability,” said Mayor de Blasio. “She’ll kick anti-displacement strategies into high gear and open doors of opportunity to people who are struggling. Vicki will be instrumental in the fight to make New York the fairest big city in America.”

“I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for this exciting opportunity to make New York more affordable for 8.6 million New Yorkers," said Deputy Mayor Been. “Since my tenure as HPD Commissioner, the City has made great strides building more affordable housing units and benefited from record low unemployment. It's time to be bolder and find new, innovative ways to respond to the City's affordability crisis. I share the Mayor's goal to ensure that New Yorkers have the chance in our great City to thrive and live with dignity.  I look forward to working with our partners to make New York the world's fairest big city."

Vicki Been has extensive experience fighting to make New York a more affordable and equitable city. As HPD Commissioner from 2014 to 2017, Been helped craft Housing New York, the Mayor’s plan to tackle the affordability crisis and create and preserve 200,000 affordable homes by 2024. After HPD made rapid progress, the plan was updated in 2017, setting a new goal of 300,000 affordable homes by 2026. During her tenure, Been oversaw the financing of a record 62,500 affordable homes – enough for 170,000 New Yorkers. She restructured the City’s programs to reach a wider range of incomes and secure more affordable housing for every public dollar spent. She also reformed the regulatory process to reduce the risk and cost of building and preserving affordable housing while ensuring its safety, quality, and financial stability.  Been was instrumental in advancing the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing law that that requires developers to dedicate a certain percentage of rental units at below market rate rents in areas that are rezoned for higher density. There are nearly 5,600 additional MIH homes in the affordable housing pipeline.  

Been is currently the Director of NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, the Boxer Family Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, and an Affiliated Professor of Public Policy of the NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.   The Furman Center is the leading authority on land use and housing issues in New York City and one of the premier research centers on urban policy in the United States. She has worked on assessing New York City’s land use patterns, the effects of Hurricane Sandy on housing and neighborhoods, the interplay of community benefit agreements and land use practices, and on a variety of affordable housing issues, including inclusionary zoning and supportive housing.

The Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development leads the administration's efforts to grow and diversify New York City's economy, invest in emerging industries across the five boroughs, build a new generation of affordable housing, and help New Yorkers secure good-paying jobs.  The Deputy Mayor oversees and coordinates the operations of over 20 agencies, offices and affiliated entities, including:  the Economic Development Corporation, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Housing Development Corporation, the New York City Housing Authority, the Department of City Planning, the Public Design Commission, the Board of Standards and Appeals, the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Libraries, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Office of Media & Entertainment, the Office of Housing Recovery Operations, NYC & Company, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, the Trust for Governors Island, the Hudson River Park Trust and the Rent Guidelines Board.

Been graduated from Colorado State University and received her J.D. from New York University School of Law. Been has served as a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and an Associate Professor of Law at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She clerked for Judge Edward Weinfeld of the Southern District of New York and Justice Harry Blackmun of the Supreme Court of the United States. Her first day as Deputy Mayor will be May 6.

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