New York State’s housing agencies last week officially consolidated into a single organization called New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The merger of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal with state affordable housing bond issuers and other agencies into a single entity was included in the state’s fiscal 2011 budget.

The New York State Housing Finance Agency and State of New York Mortgage Agency will continue to issue bonds under their own names but will be part of a larger management structure within the new organization. HFA issues multifamily bonds whereas SONYMA issues single-family bonds. The issuers already shared staff and operated under the rubric “nyhomes.” Thomson Reuters, which lists the two issuers as one, ranked them as the top issuer of housing bonds in 2009, with 18 issues totalling $1.22 billion.

“Gov. Paterson’s directive to integrate the state’s housing agencies and resources under a single leadership structure is good public policy long supported by industry partners and advocates,” Brian Lawlor, commissioner and chief executive officer of HCR, said in a press release. “By aligning all of the state’s housing and community renewal programs and staff, HCR will cost-effectively and efficiently create more opportunities for decent affordable housing and healthy communities.”

The functions of the different agencies and authorities were organized into three units: finance and development; housing preservation; and community renewal.

Marian Zucker, executive vice president at HFA and SONYMA, is now the head of the finance unit, which includes those issuers as well as the State of New York Municipal Bond Bank Agency and the Tobacco Settlement Financing Corp. The state’s low-income housing tax credit program was moved into the finance unit.

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