New York Housing Conference’s Young Leadership Council (YLC) is a professional organization specifically for emerging leaders working in the affordable housing community in New York. Through networking, education, advocacy and volunteer opportunities, the YLC allows young housing professionals to meet key people, to gain experience and to get involved with issues affecting our industry. The YLC’s programming helps connect and foster the next generation of talented leaders to ensure affordable housing in New York remains strong and vital for the future.

Membership gives to access to all of the YLC’s educational events, advocacy efforts, network, and volunteer days.  Membership is FREE and it’s EASY TO APPLY. Just CLICK the “Apply” tab and fill out the application.

Summer Seminar on East NY Rezoning June 2016


The YLC has kicked off its 2nd Annual Summer Seminar Series, which offers free discussions on all issues impacting affordable housing. Become a member to hear about additional YLC educational events later this year.

YLC Travels to New Orleans for 2015 NHC Conference


The YLC partners with the New York Housing Conference and the National Housing Conference to provide opportunities for our members to advocate for improved housing policies in Albany, Washington DC, and locally.

Spring 2016 Happy Hour Networking


The YLC hosts several networking events each year. They are a great way for our members to catch up with old colleagues and make new connections.

Community Garden Clean-up on New York Cares Day


The YLC hosts volunteer days for our membership by partnering with New York Cares, Meals on Wheels, and other local organizations.


On Tuesday, January 20th, the YLC kicked-off its Winter Thought Leaders Series with  Juliette Michaelson, Executive Vice-President of Regional Plan Association (RPA). Juliette presented RPA’s 4th regional plan for the NY-NJ-CT region. Moderators Brandie Moreno and Ivan Levi led the conversation about the plan. Juliette spoke about how RPA plans to get the political support and funds to enact the recommendations in their plan as well as the shared the political barriers in creating and implementing the plan.


On August 8th, at 8:00am, housing professionals gathered at NYU’s Furman Hall to learn from experts about the integration of health and housing, and how the WELL Building Standard aids in the development of healthy and affordable housing.

Our moderator, Elizabeth Zeldin of Enterprise Community Partners, Inc opened up the discussion by explaining how housing plays a significant role in our health and wellness. Peter Smith from the International WELL Building Institute then provided an overview of the WELL Building Standard, including its health benefits for residents, and how WELL differs from other green standards. Justin Stein explained how Bronx Pro has used tax credits, bonds and other sources to fund 2264 Morris Ave, an affordable multi-family WELL building in the Bronx. Architect Bob Santoriello walked us through some the design and construction features he used to positively impact the health and well-being of future residents in the construction of 2264 Morris Ave, as well as in other buildings he has designed. The panel then explored how WELL Building Standards would work in Rehabilitation and Preservation projects, and how to possibly incentivize the use of healthy design features in future affordable housing projects.


We had a great turn out for our July 11th  summer seminar on Preservation Through Inclusionary Housing. Experts explained how the program works, what policy objectives it advances, and how deals using it are structured. Thank you to our excellent speakers:
Richard Brown, Rockabill Consulting & Development
Louise Carroll, NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development
Patrick O’Sullivan, Jr., Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Matthew Schatz, TD Bank
Eric Usinger, Emmet, Marvin & Martin LLP

Thank you to NYU Furman Center for hosting!



On Jun 13th, the YLC kicked-off the 3rd Annual YLC Summer Seminar Series with a panel about Joint Ownership Entity NYC (JOE NYC).  The panel was moderated by Edward Ubiera and included Marc Jahr, Emily Kurtz, and Peter Madden. The panelists explained how JOE NYC works to strengthen the asset and property management capacity and outcomes of participating CDCs and the industry as a whole; bolsters the cash flow and balance sheets of participating CDCs; enhances the ability of CDCs to secure financing for their development projects; and helps ensure the long-term affordability of the properties in its portfolio and the stability of the communities within which they are located.



On May 25, the YLC toured Bronx Pro’s cutting-edge 2264 Morris Avenue project in the Fordham neighborhood of the Bronx. The eleven story, 94-unit property will contain a mix of low income, moderate income and supportive housing and is being developed through a joint venture with Services for the Underserved. The project has been designed to meet LEED Gold certification and a pilot program for Building WELL certification.

The proposed financing will include New York State Housing Finance Agency Tax Exempt Bonds, a loan from the New York City Housing Preservation Development, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, New York State Medicaid Reform Team (MRT) funding and New York State Office of Mental Health funding.

Bronx Pro is aiming to be the first affordable housing project to attain Building WELL status after 21W20 in the Flatiron District recently became the world’s first residential project to earn the certification.


On May 2, the YLC held its Spring Happy Hour at the Pig ‘n’ Whistle on West 48th Street. Nearly 70 current and (hopefully) future members stopped by. Special thanks to Jason Rocker for spearheading the planning this time around.

HH Crowd


We hosted HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer in the finale of its “Thought Leaders” series this week. The Commissioner praised the holistic approach the city applies to housing policy that incorporates economic and workforce development and looks forward to building on HPD’s continuing work in this effort. She advised younger professionals in the industry to be prepared to step into the myriad leadership opportunities that will open up over the next several years.

Thanks to Commissioner Torres-Springer for speaking with us, Eleor Cohen (Nixon Peabody) and Neala Martin (City Real Estate Advisors) for moderating, and thank you once again to LMHQ for hosting us!




The YLC continued its “Thought Leaders” Speaker Series on March 6th with Jonathan Rose, who sketched out the ideas in his book The Well-Tempered City for how cities can holistically meet the growing needs of its residents. YLC members Jennifer Steinberg (WSFSSH) and Andrew Warren (TD Bank) led the conversation as Mr. Rose talked about resource allocation, the nascent revolution he sees building in the urban farming movement, and which cities are doing housing right (hint: it’s Singapore).

Thanks to Jonathan Rose for speaking with us and thank you once again to LMHQ for hosting us!




The YLC kicked off its “Thought Leaders” Special Speaker Series on February 6th with NYC Councilman Ritchie Torres. Representing District 15 in the Central Bronx, and as Deputy Leader of the City Council and Public Housing Committee Chair, CM Torres is a staunch proponent of public and affordable housing in New York City. Co-hosts Elizabeth Strojan (Enterprise Community Partners) and Blanca Ramirez (Hudson Housing Capital) led the audience in a conversation with CM Torres covering the importance of affordable housing and how to defend it in light of the new challenges coming from D.C.

YLC Board Co-Chair Judy Herbstman Introduces the Panel
YLC Boardmembers Elizabeth Strojan and Blanca Ramirez Lead Conversation with CM Torres
YLC Boardmembers Elizabeth Strojan and Blanca Ramirez Lead Conversation with CM Torres
A Full House was on Hand


Thank you to Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council for a tour on August 18th of their Knickerbocker Commons, one of the first mid-sized buildings in the nation to conform to Passive House standards. Passive House buildings provide a high level of comfort, air quality and resilience, as well as significant reductions in energy consumption compared to code buildings. Designed by Chris Benedict, R.A., Knickerbocker Commons contains 24 rental apartments affordable to tenants earning less than 30%, 50% and 60% of area median income. Five units are set aside for persons with physical disabilities. We got a look at a unit and the disproportionate amount of space required by building codes to house Knickerbocker’s greatly reduced building systems. One interesting tidbit: the building is sealed so well that pressure differences were drawing water up into the basement, necessitating a small hole being created to alleviate the issue. Scott Short did a great job leading the group – which included the building super who told us he’s never managed a building this easy before.







We continue our 2nd Annual YLC Summer Seminar Series on July 12th. Building “green” is moving away from an elective exercise towards a fundamental component of multifamily development. Learn how the affordable housing community – including developers and government partners – is leading this change. We will be placing special focus on the growing prevalence of Passive House multifamily affordable development.

The series will be held from 8:00-9:30AM at NYU’s Vanderbilt Hall, Room 218 located at 40 Washington Square South. Breakfast will be served at 8am and the panel will start at 8:30am.



On Tuesday, June 7th at NYU, the NYHC’s Young Leadership Council kicked off its 2nd Annual Summer Seminar Series spotlighting the East NY Rezoning. Councilman Espinal walked us through the stresses on the community through the 80s and 90s, continuing through the housing crisis in the late 2000s and how the neighborhood has sustained itself on the strength of its social and cultural institutions.

The big three questions facing East New York now are: how affordable will new housing be? How many residents will be displaced? And what kinds of jobs will be available to the community? There is a substantial amount of public commitment to social infrastructure in East New York but there are concerns that growth in the neighborhood will outpace school and community facility capacity. It will be key to track progress on commitments to parks, housing etc. in a transparent way. Anti-displacement tools like a flip tax and harassment protections would add more stability.

City Planning is focusing more on comprehensive planning that goes beyond density. There is also a growing push in the agency to be more flexible and responsive to the specific outreach and engagement needs of a given community. It was stressed that public involvement remains a vital factor concerning the equity and effectiveness of future rezonings.

Thank you to Councilman Rafael Espinal (District 37), Paula Crespo (Pratt Center), Tawkiyah Jordan (City Planning), Michelle Neugebauer (Cypress Hills Local Development Corp.) and moderator Edward Ubiera (LISC NYC) for making the event such a success!



Thank you to Rich Froehlich (NYC Housing Development Corp.), Bret Garwood (NYS Homes and Community Renewal), Arden Sokolow (US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development) and Karina Totah (NYCHA) for making our “Careers in Public Service” panel such a success. Led by moderator and YLC member Emily Lehman (NYC Dept of Housing Preservation and Development), the panel outlined the various paths that led each of them to the public sector side of the affordable housing world. While the usual academic paths tend to be from planning, architecture or law programs, it was advised that one shouldn’t shy away from a more “generalist” path such as a liberal arts program. A lot of technical skills are learned on the job but “soft skills” such as being able to write and to collaborate can be key.

One of the primary challenges in public service is the perpetual need for more resources. But other challenges include dealing with the territorial mindset one can encounter in regards to institutional knowledge and figuring out what buttons to push in order to make bureaucracy work.

However the rewards of public service are plentiful:

* The enduring personal relationships you will develop
* The ability to enact change
* Figuring out the puzzle of housing needs, limited funding and bureaucracy
* The overarching opportunity to be creative because you are able to influence new ideas and see them to fruition
* The weight your words carry because you represent an important part of the process
* Being continually inspired by seeing the impact of your work on the community

The most important career advice given was to find a boss that cares about your development and will nurture your career. But attendees were also encouraged to seek out mentors because people will not only respect your initiative but will also be very willing to do what they can to help you.

Special thanks to our series sponsor, NeighborWorks, and our host, The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen.

Public Service photo block


On January 20, the YLC co-hosted a young professionals mixer at the Museum of the City of New York. The evening included a wine reception and a special tour of the Museum’s Affordable New York exhibit on the history of affordable housing in the city. Thanks to all who attended this members-only event and special thanks to the Museum’s Young Member Circle and NYSAFAH2G for partnering with us!

Click here to view slideshow of event photos

Career Seminar Series Kicked Off Tuesday with “How to Become a Developer” panel

Thank you to Amy Casciani (PathStone), Martin Dunn (Dunn Development), Aaron Koffman (The Hudson Companies) and Eli Weiss (Joy Construction) for helping us to kick-off the Career Seminar Series so successfully. Led by moderator and YLC member Charlotte Abrams (L+M Development Partners), the panel outlined the various paths that brought each of them to affordable housing development and the fundamental importance of knowing your market as a first step towards successful projects. They also stressed how vital it is to build a trusted network not only as development partners but as resources for the many questions one should ask as he or she builds a knowledge base. Other keys to successful development include:

* Creative design opportunities grow out of working with contractors and architects who are practical and don’t waste money;
* There will always be problems; developers get paid for confronting these problems and staying in front of them;
* A developer embraces the expertise of his or her team and is responsible for picking a direction.

Some policy ideas put forth included more emphasis on a regional approach to addressing affordable housing needs; countering the NIMBYism in response to calls for more density; crafting a flexible housing plan that realizes the different needs of New York City, rural communities and upstate cities; and compartmentalized resources at city agencies to streamline the approval process for affordable housing projects – for which time delays are more painful.

Special thanks to our series sponsor, NeighborWorks, and our host, The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen. See you in February!



Date: Friday, October 30th, 2015
Time: 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Location: PICK-UP POINT: To be announced
Event Description: Impressive architecture, young entrepreneurs and new development. Here’s your opportunity to see what’s exciting about the next wave of urban renewal happening just north of New York City. Transportation provided but space is limited.

Sponsored by the New York Housing Conference Young Leadership Council (YLC)

Tentative Schedule:

    • 12:00PM – Meet in New York City (transportation will be provided)
    • 1:30PM – Meet with the Newburgh Community Land Bank and City Representatives
    • 2:30PM – Site visits and historic property tour
    • 4:00PM – Tour and drinks at the Newburgh Brewing Company
    • 6:00PM – Return to New York City


YLC Fall Happy Hour Networking

Date: October 7, 2015
Thanks to the nearly 70 young housing professionals who came out to the Pig ‘N’ Whistle. See you in the Spring!



YLC Summer Seminar Series: NYC Zoning Improvements

Date: August 11, 2015
The YLC wrapped up its Summer Seminar Series with its third panel discussion hosted by NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. Moderated by YLC Board Member Justin Stein (Bronx Pro Group), CHPC’s Sarah Watson provided a rundown of the sometimes unforeseen impacts of zoning regulations; DCP’s Frank Ruchala corroborated and made the case for City Planning’s new slate of zoning regulation changes including a reduction in the amount of required parking for senior housing developments within half mile of a train station. Tony Shitemi of Urban Architectural Initiatives explained how architects respond to challenges created by the zoning text while Monadnock’s Tobias Oriwol provided the developer’s perspective.

YLC Summer Seminar Series: Overview of HUD’s RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) Program

Date: July 14, 2015
Thanks to NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy for hosting NYHC YLC Summer Seminar on RAD yesterday. The Young Leadership Council hosted an expert panel moderated by Nixon Peabody’s Meghan Altidor on HUD’s Rental Assistance Program as part of its Summer Seminar Series. Nixon Peabody’s Deborah VanAmerongen walked the audience through the history of the RAD program and how it connects older generation HUD rental assistance programs with “newer” ones like LIHTC. Nicole Ferreira outlined NYCHA’s initial forays into the program, stressing their emphasis on tenant protections and touching on the unique challenges RAD presents to a public housing authority. The RAD program was heralded by panelist Roger Harry (NYS HCR) as an exciting and unique tool that allowed the state to tackle the capital needs of the Mitchell-Lama portfolio, including the intricacies of Section 236 decouplings. L+M Development’s Rick Gropper described how RAD is structured to allow developers to take on more debt. However he added that RAD’s unique requirements introduce some new risks.

The Young Leadership Council is a diverse group of young affordable housing professionals committed to strengthening the industry through public policy, community service and developing ties with other affordable housing professionals.

  • Please upload only PDF or Word DOC files.

Name: JUDY HERBSTMAN, YLC Board Co-Chair
Organization/Title: Project Manager, Settlement Housing Fund
Bio: Judy Herbstman is a project manager at Douglaston Development, developing affordable housing in New York City. Judy earned her BA from Harvard University, her MBA from NYU Stern, and her MPA from NYU Wagner.


Organization/Title: Director – Construction & Real Estate, K2 Intelligence
Bio: Erin is a director in K2 Intelligence’s Construction & Real Estate (C&RE) practice. She has almost a decade of experience in integrity monitoring and contractor compliance with federal, state, and local grant and loan requirements. Erin offers clients an interdisciplinary approach to solving complex problems as a key lead on federal disaster recovery compliance matters, such as Minority and Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE), Section 3, and union wage fraud, developing customized solutions for clients to identify waste, fraud, and abuse across programs..

Prior to joining K2 Intelligence, Erin worked in the nonprofit sector, most recently as the director of program development and strategic planning at Neighborhood Restore Housing Development Fund Corporation; an organization that specializes in the repurposing of financially and physically distressed properties into affordable housing and providing construction management services for low and moderate income individuals, disaster recovery victims, nonprofits, and government.

Erin received her MS in Urban Planning from New York University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont.


Organization/Title: Portfolio Manager, The Community Preservation Corporation
Bio: Michael recently joined the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) as a Portfolio Manager. Prior to CPC, he worked for a not-for-profit developer in Brooklyn. Michael’s first exposure to affordable housing was during his tenure with the Westchester County Executive’s Office in which he worked on the acquisition of fair and affordable housing units mandated under a settlement with the Federal Government. He holds a B.S. in Real Estate from New York University and a MBA from Iona College.


Organization/Title: Assistant Vice President and SPARC Program Manager, The Community Preservation Corporation
Bio: Ross Clarke is Assistant Vice President, Manager of Lending Initiatives with the Community Preservation Corporation. Ross works with CPC’s external partners to develop and operationalize new or changing subsidy programs to ensure they support loan originations consistent with the intent of the subsidy as well as CPC’s mission and values. Ross also manages the Small Project Affordable Rental Construction Program (SPARC), which CPC is administering on behalf of NYS Homes & Community Renewal, and underwrites construction/permanent loans with CPC’s New York City Office.

Ross received a Master of Social Work with a specialization in Community Development and Affordable Housing from Washington University in St. Louis, as well as a dual B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from Arizona State University.


Organization/Title: Nixon Peabody LLP/Associate
Bio: Eleor is an associate in the Affordable Housing Group at Nixon Peabody LLP where he represents non-profit and for-profit owners in acquiring, constructing, and preserving affordable housing. He focuses on complex financings of affordable housing developments, including tax-exempt, low income housing tax credits, and other government subsidies. Eleor received his BS in Economics and Finance from the City University of New York (College of Staten Island) and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School.


Organization/Title: Vice President, First Sterling
Bio: Mary Dorn is Vice President of Acquisitions at First Sterling, where she is responsible for low income housing tax credit originations nationwide with a focus on the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania markets. She has over ten years of affordable housing experience ranging from development to underwriting and originations. Mary received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and is working on her masters at NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate.


Organization/Title: Vice President of Development, SKA Marin
Bio: Since 2012, James has served as Vice President of Development at SKA Marin, one of the nation’s premier affordable housing developers. Prior to joining SKA Marin, James served various roles with Procida Construction Corp., Winn Companies and the Primary Care Development Corporation. He earned his B.A. from Brandeis University and his M.B.A. from Yeshiva University.


Organization/Title: MBA Candidate, NYU Stern (Class of 2018)
Bio: Sid is pursuing an MBA at NYU Stern, specializing in Real Estate Finance and Entrepreneurship. Prior to Stern, he worked at Deutsche Bank, where he was responsible for underwriting, closing, and monitoring various community development construction loans, lines of credit, and equity investments. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of New Hampshire.


Organization/Title: Assistant Vice President of Acquisitions; Hudson Housing Capital
Bio: Ms. Ramirez joined Hudson Housing Capital in September 2012 as the Assistant Vice President of Acquisitions covering Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Ms. Ramirez holds an MBA from Brandeis University and completed her undergraduate work at the State University of New York Binghamton.



Organization/Title: Senior Manager; CohnReznick
Bio: Jason is a manager in CohnReznick’s Affordable Housing Industry Practice where he provides audit, tax, and consulting services to a variety of not-for-profit and for-profit clients, particularly those in the affordable housing and real estate industries. He also has extensive involvement with entities in the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program, Historic Tax Credit (HTC) Programs as well as government municipalities and agencies. Jason obtained his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Towson University.



Organization/Title: Account Manager, ICF’s Energy Efficiency Practice
Bio: Daphany Sanchez is an account manager within ICF’s Energy Efficiency practice. She has managed and completed various projects such as greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting for United Nations (UN) Greening the Blue, Green Jobs-Green New York and Economic Development Growth Extension Program for New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and Superfund Site Newtown Creek Partnership Coordination for U.S. Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez. She holds a B.S from New York University School of Engineering, and a M.S from The New School.


Organization/Title: Credit Associate, LIIF
Bio: Matthew Singh is a Credit Associate at the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), where he monitors and manages credit risk in a $135 million portfolio of affordable housing loans and community facility loans. Previously, as a Program Officer at LIIF, he oversaw two grant programs totaling over $3 million that separately provided capital for pre-Kindergarten classroom renovation and grocery store construction, and he spearheaded research projects with results published in the LIIF whitepapers “Building Pre-K” and “Partnering for Prevention.” A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he holds a Master in Urban Planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley.


Organization/Title: Vice President of Acquisitions, Bronx Pro
Bio: Justin joined Bronx Pro in 2014. Justin has over 10 years of real estate development and real estate finance experience. He worked as a project manager for a real estate developer, completing multifamily rental, condominium, mixed use and commercial developments throughout the tri-state area. He then joined Enterprise Community Investment where he was a Tax Credit Equity Underwriter, responsible for the underwriting and closing of the new construction and preservation of 1,360 units that had total project costs of over $443 million and equity investments of over $200 million. At Bronx Pro he is responsible for the acquisition and development of new projects. Justin has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Bentley College.


Organization/Title: Deputy Director, NYCHA
Bio: Amy Stokes is currently a Deputy Director in the Real Estate Development Department at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) where she leads the underwriting and asset management unit. She primarily works on the financing and deal structuring of new construction and rehabilitation projects. Previously, Amy was an Assistant Director of Mixed Finance at NYCHA and a Legislative Financial Analyst in the Finance Division of the New York City Council. She began her career as an underwriting analyst for a private real estate firm. Amy earned a Master’s of Urban Planning from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College, Columbia University.


Organiztion/Title: Director of Governmental Affairs; NYC Housing Development Corp.
Short Bio: In March 2017, Elizabeth joined the NYC Housing Development Corp. as its Director of Governmental Affairs. Prior to that, she had worked in the New York office of Enterprise since July 2013. During her first year there, she identified the need for a new department focused on local housing policy. She directed the New York office’s state and local policy work, ensuring that Enterprise played a leading role in policy coalitions, built strategic relationships with policy makers and provided key analyses and recommendations both internally and to the larger affordable housing industry. Elizabeth holds a dual master’s degree in economics and international political economy and development from Fordham University. Before moving to New York, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar and a volunteer coordinator for her alma mater, Centre College in Kentucky.


Organization/Title: Deputy Director of Policy and Rental Assistance; NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development
Bio: Sara Tempel is the Deputy Director of Policy and Rental assistance in the Division of Special Needs Housing for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Her previous experience at HPD involves being a Project Manager for Special Needs Housing developing supportive and senior housing and Policy Analyst for the Section 8 program. Sara also has experience working in supportive housing in the areas of property management, intake and compliance. She earned her bachelors of arts from the University of Delaware and a Masters in Urban Planning and Policy from Hunter College.


Organization/Title: Relationship Manager; Wells Fargo Bank
Bio: Gary is a Relationship Manager in Wells Fargo’s Community Lending & Investment group. He and his fellow team members provide customized financing solutions to not-for-profit and for-profit developers for the construction and preservation of affordable housing. Gary earned an M.S. with Distinction from New York University and a B.S. from Penn State University.Gary Vizioli