The Board of Directors and staff of the New York City Housing Conference wish to express our profound sadness at the passing of Rich Froehlich, the New York City Housing Development Corporation’s First Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Rich was a leader, both in New York City and nationally, in affordable housing finance. No one had a better understanding of the intersection of bond financing and affordable housing finance. It was an understanding based upon decades of experience, a brilliant legal and finance mind, and extraordinary creativity. He played a central role in shaping New York City’s affordable housing efforts over the course of two decades and two Mayoral administrations. He played an indispensable role in building HDC into the powerful engine for affordable housing development that it is today. And his imprint is on virtually all of its bond financed new construction and preservation housing programs, as well as its efforts to preserve Mitchell Lama and NYCHA developments throughout the City. Tenants and communities throughout the City, and the City as a whole, immeasurably benefited from his efforts.
At the federal level, Rich played a critical role in the creation of “recycled bonds”, providing the City and communities with billions of dollars of new tax-exempt bonds; the New Issue Bond Program, which provided affordable financing to housing finance agencies throughout the country during the midst of the Great Recession; the deployment of the Federal Finance Bank (“FFB”) to provide low interest rate debt for affordable housing developments; and more. His accomplishments at the federal and local level resulted in his appointment to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”).
NYHC honored Rich for his public service in 2015 and the linked video tribute is an uplifting reminder of his professional accomplishments and a wonderful testament to his character. Rich was deeply respected by the affordable housing industry in New York City and nationally. He also had the deep affection of many.
We will all sorely miss his leadership and friendship.