The New York State Association for Affordable Housing hosted Adolfo Carrion at a breakfast this morning. Carrion is the former Bronx Borough President who served as the President’s first Urban Policy adviser and has now become the Regional Director of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (headed by former NYC HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan and under President Clinton by Andrew Cuomo).
It was somewhat of a homecoming for Carrion who joked that it took a half hour to get from his table to the podium because of all of the folks he knew who wanted to say hello. He also apologized to the group for meandering a bit which he attributed to not feeling well.
He told the audience generally that he was part of an effort to put the UD back in HUD, meaning a focus on development in urban areas. He also said that he was interested in the local job because the Secretary was empowering the regional offices to try and leverage federal programs both within the agency and by partnering with other federal agencies on strategies such as transit oriented development and green buildings.
During the Q&A he acknowledged that New York’s high cost of construction tends to shut out New York developers from federal programs such as Section 202 senior citizen housing. He expressed the hope that some of these issues, including raising FHA debt limits, could be addressed after the election or in the new Congress.