NEW YORK, April 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP presented a Government Leadership Forum today on affordable housing in New York, featuring Vicki L. Been, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development; Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Borough President; Ron Moelis, CEO and Chairman of L+M Development Partners Inc.; and Erica F. Buckley, Special Counsel at Stroock. The event was held at the firm's New York office.
A link to a recent Stroock Bulletin, "Mandatory Inclusionary Housing: Implications of 421-A and Vested Rights" is here.
Robert Abrams, former New York State Attorney General and Chair of Stroock's Government Relations Practice welcomed the panel. Leonard Boxer, Co-Chair of Stroock's Real Estate Practice and a member of the Firm's Senior Executive Committee, and Chuck Moerdler, Co-Chair of Stroock's Litigation Practice Group, moderated the panel.
"With a goal set by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to preserve or build 200,000 units of below-market-rate housing by 2025 and the City Council's recent approval of a plan that will include affordable housing in all new developments, this is one of the most important and widely discussed topics in New York," said Abrams. "Stroock is delighted to have such a knowledgeable panel to focus on this critical issue."
"In the first two years of this mayor's administration, 40,000 new homes were financed, more than ever in the history of the HPD," said Been. "We are committed to having quality housing in every community, and zoning for inclusion and affordability, including for seniors, within each neighborhood."
Diaz echoed the HPD Commissioner's goals, noting Bronx's recent renaissance and commitment to mixed housing in the community. "We have had $9.5 billion invested in the borough in the last six years, with 54 million square feet under development, including 24,000 housing units. People come to the Bronx, they want to stay and live, and don't want to leave."
Moelis said the city's effort to provide affordable housing is the largest and most sophisticated in the country. "Our goal is to create a community for all income levels, with mixed housing along with opportunities and resources that include good jobs, good food, jobs, transportation and security."
Buckley, who had been Chief of the Real Estate Finance Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office prior to joining Stroock, said, "During my tenure in the Attorney General's office, we tried to facilitate the review process involving affordable housing, to make sure every offering was in compliance with laws and regulations, and reviewed in a timely manner. We developed close relationships with HPD and other agencies in order to facilitate the development of affordable housing."
Vicki Been is responsible for leading the nation's largest municipal housing agency and is charged with creating and implementing Mayor Bill de Blasio's Five Borough Housing Plan, a bold initiative to create or preserve 200,000 affordable homes and apartments over 10 years. Prior to her appointment as HPD Commissioner, Ms. Been was Director for NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, a nationally renowned academic research center devoted to the public policy aspects of land use, real estate and housing development.
Ruben Diaz Jr. was elected Bronx Borough President in the Special Election on April 21st, 2009. He previously served in the New York State Assembly since 1997, representing the 85th Assembly District. In the State Assembly, Ruben Diaz Jr. served as Chair of the Committee on Election Law and on the Assembly's Standing Committees on Education, Ways & Means, Children and Families, Environmental Conservation and Transportation.
Ron Moelis is CEO and Chairman of L+M Development Partners Inc. Ron Moelis has co-founded a company that is a leader in developing affordable, mixed-income and market rate housing. Under Mr. Moelis' leadership, L+M has been responsible for about $14 billion of development and investment in the NYC metro area and has acquired and developed more than 20,000 apartments and 1.5MM sq. ft. of commercial space in the tristate area.
Erica F. Buckley recently joined Stroock's national Real Estate and Government Relations Practice Groups as Special Counsel. At the Attorney General's office she directed a 45-person office charged with enforcing the Martin Act—New York's blue sky law that regulates the offer and sale of real estate securities, including cooperatives, condominiums, timeshares, senior communities and homeowners associations.
Today's event was the 26th in a series hosted by Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. The forum was sponsored by Stroock's Government Relations Practice Group, led by Abrams and comprised of former prosecutors, judges, and government agency officials. Abrams also served as President of the National Association of Attorneys General, Executive Chair of New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's Transition Committee and Honorary Co-Chair of Attorney General Schneiderman's Transition Committee.
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP is a law firm providing transactional, regulatory and litigation guidance to leading financial institutions, multinational corporations, investment funds and entrepreneurs in the U.S. and abroad. Our emphasis on excellence and innovation has enabled us to maintain long-term relationships with our clients and made us one of the nation's leading law firms for almost 140 years. Stroock's practice areas include capital markets/securities, commercial finance, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, private equity, private funds, commodities and derivatives, employment law and benefits, energy and project finance, entertainment, environmental law, financial restructuring, financial services litigation, government relations, insurance, intellectual property, investment management, litigation, national security/CFIUS, personal client services, real estate, structured finance and tax.
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