(From r-l): Regional Administrator Lynne Patton, HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Spring, HCR Commissioner Ruthanne Visnauskas, and NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye on the New York Housing Conference Panel The Future of HUD
Regional Administrator Lynne Patton participated in a panel discussion on the future of HUD at the New York Housing Conference Awards Luncheon on December 6, joined by New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner Ruthanne Visnauskas, New York City Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer, and New York City Housing Authority Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. The panel was moderated by New York Institute of Technology Associate Professor Nicholas Bloom.
In opening remarks, RA Patton spoke frankly of the need for federal resources to address the region’s housing challenges, referencing the spike in New York City’s homelessness that led to the first national increase in seven years. She discussed of Secretary Carson’s priorities to increase self-sufficiency and financial independence for HUD-assisted households. She also spoke of the need to reform the methodology of HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center inspections, to more heavily weight conditions found in dwelling units and increase landlord accountability to residents and taxpayers.
During the discussion portion of the event, State and Local agency leaders emphasized the unprecedented attack on programs and resources used to creatively respond to austerity in the federal budget. RA Patton noted that HUD was exploring the restoration of Section 202 funding to construct senior housing, and described her extensive efforts to highlight the effectiveness of private activity bonds for affordable housing construction. The discussion also covered the health/housing connection, a priority for Secretary Carson given his medical background. RA Patton discussed HUD’s Healthy Homes work, and some of the Secretary’s work with national and international partners to address seniors in HUD housing that are aging in place.
The event was covered by both the Real Deal and the New York Daily News, which published an editorial praising RA Patton’s suggestion to restore 202 funding and build more senior housing.