Thursday, February 10, 2011

Governor Cuomo Taps Towns to Head Big Housing Agency by Daniel Massey - Crain's New York Business

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Brooklyn Assemblyman to Become Commissioner of State's New Homes and Community Renewal Agency that Focuses on Housing

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday appointed Assemblyman Darryl Towns as commissioner and chief executive of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the state agency that oversees finance, development and preservation of housing.

Mr. Towns replaces Brian Lawlor, a veteran housing official who last year led a consolidation of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal with nyhomes. As per the consolidation, Mr. Towns will also serve as chief executive of the state’s Housing Finance Agency and the State of New York Mortgage Agency.

A state official said Mr. Lawlor is likely to remain with the agency in a senior policy role.

Since 1992, Mr. Towns has represented the 54th Assembly District in Brooklyn. His father, Edolphus Towns, is a 14-term congressman. Darryl Towns has long been considered a potential successor to his father. It wasn’t immediately clear what his new position says about his aspirations for higher office.

While in the Assembly, he spearheaded the ANCHOR Program, which helped bolster commercial revitalization in residential communities in New York City and support the increase of newly constructed housing developments.

"HCR is an essential agency with the ability to effect real change for the people of New York,” said Don Capoccia, vice president of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing. “Assemblyman Towns will make it his priority to facilitate affordable housing in both urban and rural communities, therefore advancing much needed economic growth in New York.”

The appointment does not require Senate confirmation, a spokesman for the governor said.