Transforming Affordable Housing Through Innovation


Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 4:00pm to 5:30pm


124 Mt. Auburn, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

New York City's Acquisition FundRafael E. Cestero, Department of Housing Preservation & Development
John B. Rhea, New York City Housing Authority

About the Seminar
The nation’s economic crisis has put pressure on cities to increase the amount of affordable housing available to low- and moderate-income residents. Often already faced with housing shortages, cities must now address new challenges doing more with less. As leaders are being tasked to be more creative and innovative than ever, they are evaluating the past, looking at new programmatic ideas, and most importantly, establishing new cross-sector and cross-agency partnerships to expand the capacity and potential for affordable housing solutions.

Please join Rafael E. Cestero, commissioner of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) – the nation’s largest municipal developer of affordable housing – and John Rhea, chairman of the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) – the nation’s largest public housing authority – as they discuss the innovative strategies that have helped the New York City housing market remain strong through the crisis, and the new ideas that will continue to propel New York’s ambitious housing goals.

Light refreshments will be served.

You can watch a video about this effort here.

About the Speakers
Rafael E. Cestero was appointed commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) in March of 2009. Under his leadership HPD has launched a $750 million initiative to stabilize distressed multi-family properties, launched a $10 million program to keep families at risk of foreclosure in their homes, and is expanding the agency's role to include more pro-active code enforcement and asset management activities. Prior to his appointment, Cestero served as senior vice president and chief program officer at Enterprise Community Partners, a national organization that has invested more than $9 billion to build affordable housing throughout the country. Cestero earned a Master of Urban Planning degree with a specialization in community development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Bachelor of Sciences degree from Cornell University.

John B. Rhea was appointed chairman of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) on June 1, 2009 by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Chairman Rhea has over 20 years of corporate experience having served as both an advisor and senior executive at a number of the world’s leading corporations. Most recently, he was a managing director in the Investment Banking Division of Barclays Capital (formerly Lehman Brothers) and served as co-head of the Global Consumer & Retail Group. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers in 2005, Chairman Rhea spent eight years at JPMorgan and was a managing director and co-head of Consumer North America. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.

Innovations in Government Seminar Series
This event is part of the Innovations in Government Seminar Series, which explores various aspects and approaches to the study and replication of government innovation. This year-long series seeks to educate and inform the next generation of government innovators.

This event is sponsored by the Ash Center and the Joint Center for Housing, Harvard University