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Homes and Community Renewal

HCR Officials Meet With Delegation from Japan

Commissioner/CEO Towns with the leader of the Japanese delegation, Professor Nobuhiro Naito of the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo.

Officials from NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) recently welcomed a delegation of business, academic and government officials from Japan who had requested the meeting to learn more about New York's successful use of Low Income Housing Tax Credits to build affordable and supportive housing.

HCR is a national leader in the use of the federal tax credits, which help developers raise equity to build affordable housing.

Although the meeting was requested in February, the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan gave new significance to the meeting, and HCR officials called in a representative from Enterprise Community Investment, which utilized federal tax credits to help rebuilding efforts in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.

HCR Commissioner/CEO Darryl C. Towns welcomed the group to New York and said, "We are honored to meet with the delegation, and hope to provide them with the technical assistance they will need to develop and implement their own low-income housing tax credit program. I think the fact that the delegation sought assistance and advice from HCR is a clear indication that our innovative use of tax credits to build housing is recognized not just in our own country, but around the world."

The Japanese delegation was lead by Professor Nobuhiro Naito of the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo.

Professor Naito said, "We are very grateful to Commissioner Towns, the staff of NYS Homes and Community Renewal and their private sector partners for taking time out of their schedules to help us learn how they successfully build and repair homes and communities with tax credits. This has been a very informative visit and we hope to use the ideas they've provided to rebuild damaged areas of our country and provide our people with affordable and supportive housing through the partnership of public and private sectors."

The delegation toured several affordable and supportive housing facilities that had been either built or rehabilitated with the use of tax credits.

Daniel Magidson, director of Syndication of Enterprise Community Development, took the delegation on a tour through Fox Point in the Bronx, a green affordable housing complex for low-income and formerly homeless individuals and families. Fox Points was developed by Paladia, Inc. with the assistance of tax credits.

Adam Weinstein, President and CEO of Phipps Houses Group, then brought the group to Hancock Place Apts., 53 units of affordable housing built in partnership with the West Harlem Assistance Group. The development, built with assistance from the LIHTC program, helped to revitalize the previously blighted Hancock Place.

Martin Dunn, of Dunn Development Corp., welcomed the delegation to a new multi-income housing development in Williamsburg called Palmer's Dock, the first affordable housing project developed as part of the City's rezoning of the Williamsburg/Greenpoint waterfront. Palmer's Dock was developed under NYC's new Inclusionary Housing Program and was also assisted by HCR with tax credits.

The following day, the delegation joined HCR staff to discuss the LIHTC program in greater detail. Arlo Chase, Senior Vice President for Policy Initiatives, discussed the history of affordable housing policy in New York State. Joy Willig, President of the Office of Professional Services, described the process and benefits of integrating all of New York's housing and community renewal agencies under the HCR banner, and Marian Zucker, President of the Office of Finance and Development gave an overview of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program.

Mark Flescher, Vice President/Special Projects, provided additional details of the LIHTC program from the agency's perspective, while Daniel Magidson of Enterprise Community Development returned to discuss tax credits from the perspective of the syndicator, and Martin Dunn examined the program from the developer's viewpoint.

Magidson also spoke with the group about Enterprise's work in helping to rebuild New Orleans in the wake of Katrina.

Last Updated: 5/20/2011