Vicki Been ’83 named commissioner of New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Saturday the appointment of Vicki Been ’83, Boxer Family Professor of Law and director of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, as commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Vicki Been '83
Vicki Been '83

Been is a leading scholar of land use, urban policy, and affordable housing and has done extensive research on New York City’s land use patterns, the effects of Hurricane Sandy on housing and neighborhoods, the interplay of community benefit agreements and land use practices, among other related issues. During Been’s time as director of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, the center received a number of awards for its research on land use, affordable housing, and urban affairs, including a 2012 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

"We're going to take a much more aggressive approach to protecting and building affordable apartments that responds to the crisis we're in,” said Vicki Been in a press release from the Office of the Mayor. “From apartments approaching the end of their subsidy to homes lost to Superstorm Sandy, we need faster and more innovative strategies that seize every opportunity to keep apartments affordable and accelerate the pace of bringing new ones online.”

“We applaud Mayor de Blasio for recognizing Vicki's tremendous talent and leadership and offer her our warmest congratulations as she embarks on this exciting new challenge,” wrote the Furman Center in a press release.

"[Vicki's] inspiring vision and leadership have been a tremendous asset to the Law School, and the New York City housing community," said Dean Trevor Morrison in an announcement to the community. "I am pleased that she will bring her considerable abilities to this important public office." Been has been granted a leave of absence from the Law School for the duration of her role.

Been’s new position was announced along with a number of key appointments in the city’s major housing agencies. In announcing these appointees, Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated his goal of addressing New York City’s housing crisis. "We are going to take a new approach to this crisis that holds nothing back,” said the mayor in a press release. “From doing more to protect tenants in troubled buildings, to innovating new partnerships with the private sector, to forging a new relationship with our NYCHA communities, every decision we make will focus on maximizing the affordability of our neighborhoods.”

Posted on February 11, 2014