The state’s housing finance agencies were named 2008 Innovator of the Year by the New York State Association for Affordable Housing.

Collectively known as nyhomes, the state’s HFAs include the New York State Housing Finance Agency, the State of New York Mortgage Agency and the New York State Affordable Housing Corp.

The trade group said the agencies had been transformed through “innovation, transparency and a willingness to partner with the affordable housing community.”

“The changes adopted by nyhomes put it at the forefront of housing innovation in New York State,” Bernie Carr, the association’s executive director, said in a press release. “Its agencies have brought openness, fresh thinking and additional resources to the table. And it has continued to promote affordable housing even in these difficult economic times.”

The group cited changes under the leadership of Priscilla Almodovar, president and chief executive officer of all three agencies. They include use of pooled financing to finance smaller projects upstate, a streamlined approval process for developers and first-time homebuyers, expanded use of a multifamily mortgage program and SONYMA’s purchase of HFA bonds in September and October when disruption in the credit markets had caused interest rates to spike.

The association announced the award at its 10th annual conference last week.

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