Watch this video to learn more about the Center

Our Values

Affordable homeownership is about equality.

We’re in this together.

Neighborhoods are the heart of New York.

Working collaboratively is working strategically.

Important stuff you might want to know

• HUD-approved counseling group
• Licensed mortgage banker in New York State
• Certified Community Development Financial Institution (Learn about CDFIs)
2015 Annual Report | 2014 Annual Report

Our History

In 2008, the leadership of New York City and private foundations created the Center to meet the challenge of the Great Recession's foreclosure crisis.

Team
Board
Programs
Coalitions

Leadership

Christie Peale CEO & Executive Director
Natasha Pallan Chief Financial Officer
Lisa Lofdahl General Counsel
Anthony Brito Director of Finance
Herman De Jesus Director of Lending
Michael Hartwyk Director of Human Resources and Administration
Lucy Raimes Director of Network Programs
Joseph Sant Director of Homeowner Services
Sarah Kate Wagner Chief of Staff
Braden Listmann Deputy Director for Network Programs
Caroline Nagy Deputy Director for Policy and Research
Cristian Salazar Deputy Director for Communications
Emily Steed Deputy General Counsel
Rachel Eve Stein Deputy Director for Recovery and Resiliency
Christie Peale

Christie has worked for public service organizations in New York City since 1994. She provided Community Case Management services for people living with HIV and AIDS for both the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Women's Prison Association. She then advocated for Medicare and Medicaid recipients enrolled in HMO plans with the Medicare Rights Center and Gay Men's Health Crisis. While working for the Building Services 32BJ Pension Fund, Christie worked on an employer-assisted housing project, which led her to work for non-profit affordable housing developers in Bushwick and Washington Heights. She joined the Center most recently from the New York State Housing Finance Agency, where she underwrote tax-exempt bond deals to preserve affordable housing, and served as Deputy Director at the Center until July 2011. Christie has a B.A. from Harvard College and a MSW from the Hunter College School of Social Work in Community Organizing and Planning.

Natasha Pallan

Natasha joined the Center in October of 2014 and manages the internal operations teams including Fiscal, Human Resources & Administration, IT and Facilities. Natasha has an extensive background in structured finance, capital markets and economic development, having worked in non-recourse commercial lending and institutional bond sales at Deutsche Bank, and corporate finance at Prudential. She also managed a $1.5 billion portfolio of major development projects at Empire State Development. Prior to joining the Center, Natasha was the Chief Financial Officer at Harlem RBI. Natasha holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Lisa Lofdahl

Lisa joined the Center in May 2015 from Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, where she practiced law for over 15 years in the commercial real estate area focusing on complex transactions involving financing, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and leasing. Prior to entering the law, Lisa was an environmental engineer working for Tenneco Gas in Texas and Louisiana. Lisa has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and a JD-MBA from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.

Anthony Brito

Anthony joined the Center in September 2016 and supports the Chief Financial Officer in developing and managing the Center’s operating budget. He also supervises the finance team’s management of daily accounting transactions and overall grant management. Anthony previously worked as a Senior Budget Analyst for New Visions for Public Schools, a school management company located in New York City, and as a Senior Finance Analyst at the New York City Council’s Finance Division. Anthony has an M.S in Urban Policy Analysis at New School University in New York and a B.A in Political Science and Economics from the University of Rhode Island.

Herman De Jesus

Herman joined the Center in 2013 and leads its Lending Department, and oversees the New York State Mortgage Assistance and Escalations programs. Previously, Herman worked as Senior Program Associate for New Economy Project, where he helped manage the NYC Foreclosure Prevention Gap Loan Fund, worked in the Consumer Law Project program, and worked on research, policy, and advocacy initiatives on behalf of low-income New Yorkers. For nearly a decade, Herman also served as Supervising Paralegal of the Foreclosure Prevention Project at South Brooklyn Legal Services, where he worked with hundreds of homeowners, investigated complex predatory mortgage lending cases, negotiated and resolved cases, and worked with attorneys to build cases for litigation in state and federal court.

Michael Hartwyk

Michael joined the Center in April 2016 and conducts all strategic and tactical human resources functions. Michael also manages the Center's administrative functions, including Information Technology, Office Management and Facilities. Previously, Michael worked as Operations Manager at OutRight Action International and Field Supervisor for a market research firm call center. Michael holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lucy Raimes

Lucy joined the Center in December 2009 and oversees supportive programs for homeownership services through a network of non-profit service providers. Lucy began working at the Center after developing affordable housing projects in Scotland. She previously worked in City government, at both the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Department of Homeless Services, as well as a consultant at K. Backus & Associates. Lucy has a B.A. from Brown University and a Master of Urban Planning from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Joseph Sant

Joseph joined the Center in 2013 and leads several of the Center’s homeowner services programs and teams. He has helped mobilize coastal resiliency programs that provide services to thousands of NYC homeowners, manages rapid state-wide services provided by the Homeowner Hub, and oversees the Center's HUD-certified Housing Mobility Program. Joseph came to the Center after working as a Senior Attorney at Legal Services NYC, where he brought affirmative impact litigation to combat predatory mortgage lending and enforce consumer protections for low- and moderate-income homeowners. Joseph earned his B.A. at the University of Washington and his J.D. at Georgetown University.

Sarah Kate Wagner

Sarah Kate joined the Center in February 2014 and supports the Center's Executive Director as well as the senior leadership team in creating and implementing new projects and initiatives, communicating with the Board of Directors, developing and implementing the Center's fundraising strategy, and managing funder relationships. Before joining the Center, Sarah Kate served as a Senior Manager at Step Up, where she was responsible for donor cultivation and retention. She has also been an Associate at Phreesia, Inc., and a Legal Assistant at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, LLP. Sarah Kate holds a B.A. from Brown University.

Braden Listmann

Braden joined the Center in October 2012 and is the Deputy Director of the Network Programs team, which manages programs through the Center’s network of housing and legal service providers, including foreclosure prevention, the Senior Initiative, and homeowner outreach. Previously, Braden worked for a non-profit organization in Chicago where he led campaigns to establish court-sponsored mediation in foreclosure cases and a vacant property ordinance to address abandoned foreclosed buildings. Braden holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University.

Caroline Nagy

Caroline joined the Center in 2013. Her work is focused on the foreclosure crisis, affordable homeownership, and the impact of climate change on homeowners. Her research has been cited in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and she regularly provides expert testimony on housing policy issues to the New York City Council and New York State Legislature. Caroline has also served as a policy advocate for children experiencing homelessness at Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, and conducted urban policy research at the NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. She received a J.D. from NYU School of Law, and a B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from Ohio University.

Cristian Salazar

Cristian joined the Center in April 2016 and oversees all communications, including media relations and public awareness campaigns. He previously spent over a decade in daily journalism. He worked as a crime reporter in Paterson, N.J., as a news editor for amNewYork and as a general assignment reporter for The Associated Press in New York City. His stories have appeared in The Washington Post, The Daily Beast and several other outlets. He has an M.S. from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and a B.A. in Political Science from Metropolitan State University of Colorado.

Emily Steed

Emily joined the Center in February 2017, bringing over 15 years of experience helping organizations strengthen compliance and related operations. Emily was previously a senior SEC enforcement counsel, KPMG financial services regulatory compliance consultant, Chief Compliance Officer for the NYC Council, Director of Program Integrity with the state government in Massachusetts and an independent compliance consultant, including with a federally funded nonprofit and with technology startups. Emily graduated from the University of Toronto, Canada, with an LL.M and a B.A. (Hons) and has a J.D. from Queen's University in Ontario, Canada.

Rachel Eve Stein

Rachel joined the Center in January 2017 and manages the Residential Technical Assistance Program, along with other citywide resiliency services offered through FloodHelpNY.org. Before joining the Center, she managed sustainable energy outreach initiatives for the New York State Public Service Commission and NYSERDA, after working at the New York State Assembly and the House of Representatives. Rachel has been a community organizer for over ten years, working on political, issue, and neighborhood-based campaigns. Rachel received her B.A. from Boston University, majoring in Social Movements and the Democratic Process.

The Team

Executive

  • Christie Peale
  • Natasha Pallan
  • Lisa Lofdahl
  • Sarah Wagner
  • Emily Steed

Administration

  • Anthony Brito
  • Sarah Brown
  • Veronica Delli Carpini
  • Acacia Edmondson
  • Michael Hartwyk
  • Michael Rodriguez
  • Maya Sambolah
  • Caitlin Valley
  • Patricia Vera

Homeowner Services

  • Rabyaah Althaibani
  • Danielle Bayuelo
  • Adrienne Bess
  • David Brice
  • Ezra Brown
  • Jessica Castro
  • Tiffany Chambliss
  • Stacy Clark
  • Collin Clarke
  • Rachel Elmkies
  • Salima Etoka
  • William Fairhurst
  • Dakarai Griffin
  • Lukas Johnson
  • Jennifer Leisure
  • Sara Melomedov
  • Marc Morales
  • Chase Nackenson
  • Aaron Ochylski
  • Lauribel Pantaleon
  • Joseph Sant
  • Randy Reed
  • Rachel Stein
  • Rudy Ulin
  • Vella Voynova
  • Clair Weatherby
  • Nicole Zajdman

Lending

  • Candybelle Acevedo
  • Walden Anderson
  • Joseph Antwi-Boasiako
  • Todd Baker
  • Eugene Bell
  • Carolyn Canahuate
  • Herman De Jesus
  • Darren Grant
  • Maura Guillaume
  • Hilman Guillory
  • Erika Heads
  • Heeyeon Jung
  • Angela Meade
  • Courtney Niedens
  • Felix Okema
  • Megan Reed
  • Melissa Rosario
  • Andreas Santibanez
  • Christopher Sevigny
  • Kurtia Thomas-Gaskin
  • Kawanna Wright

Network Programs

  • Tara Brown
  • Joanie Imlay
  • Braden Listmann
  • Lucy Raimes
  • Kevin Wolfe
  • Courina Yulisa

Policy and Communications

  • John Baker
  • Roberta Barnett
  • Leo Goldberg
  • Caroline Nagy
  • Justine Pak
  • Cristian Salazar
  • Lauren Suiter

The Center for NYC Neighborhoods’ Board of Directors represents a diverse range of the City’s government agencies, elected officials, non-profits, foundations, and corporations.

Herbert Sturz (Board Chair)

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Deborah Boatright

An acknowledged expert in affordable housing and community development, Ms. Boatright specializes in developing partnerships that unite the public and private sector to improve housing options for low- and moderate-income families and address community needs. Ms. Boatright was the Regional Vice President, Northeast Region, for NeighorWorks America, overseeing operations across 11 states from Maine to Maryland, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for a decade until her retirement in 2016. Prior to that, Ms. Boatright worked at New York State Homes and Community Renewal (NYSHCR) as an Assistant Commissioner (2003-2006) and as New York Regional Director (2001-2003).

Colvin W. Grannum

Mr. Grannum has served as President of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation since March 2001. Restoration, the nation’s first community development corporation, was founded by community leaders and U.S. Senators Robert Kennedy and Jacob Javits in 1967 and partners with local residents and business to improve economic stability and quality of life in Central Brooklyn. Before embarking on his career in community development, Colvin practiced law for over 17 years in the public and private sectors. Mr. Grannum earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

Judith Kende

Ms. Kende is Vice President and New York market leader for Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. With nearly 20 years of experience in community development, nonprofit leadership, and finance, as well as a deep commitment to creating opportunity for her fellow New Yorkers, she oversees a cross-functional team working with community partners, the public sector and private capital sources to incubate solutions, advocate for more resources and finance affordable housing.

Cathie Mahon

Ms. Mahon is CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, an organization dedicated to helping low- and moderate-income people and communities achieve financial independence through credit unions. Previously, Ms. Mahon served as Deputy Commissioner for Financial Empowerment with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and as the Policy and Program Director for the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.

Sam Marks

Mr. Marks is Executive Director of Local Initiatives Supper Corporation New York. LISC is a national nonprofit organization that assists community development corporations as well as other private and public community development-oriented entities in their efforts to create and maintain healthy sustainable communities. Mr. Marks oversees LISC New York’s training, technical and management assistance, financing and public policy functions. Before joining LISC, he was Vice President at the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, and Director of Housing Development at WHEDCo.

Ronay Menschel

Ms. Menschel is Chairman of Phipps Houses and previously served as its President and CEO. She is also a current trustee of its affiliate, Phipps Neighborhoods. Ms. Menschel was Deputy Mayor, and subsequently Executive Administrator, of New York City from 1978 to 1982. She served on the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority from 1979 to 1990. From 1998 to 2004, she served as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Ms. Menschel currently serves on several not-for-profit boards including Weill Cornell Medical College and the Museum of the City of New York.

Jonathan Mintz

Mr. Mintz is Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, a national non-profit organization that supports municipal efforts to help low-income families and individuals achieve long-term financial stability. He also founded and co-chaired the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition, which brings together pioneering municipal governments from across the country to advance innovative financial empowerment initiatives on the municipal, state, and national level. From 2006-2013, Mr. Mintz served as the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, having been appointed to the role by former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Donovan Richards

Council Member Richards was elected to the 31st District to represent southeast Queens and the Rockaways in February 2013. In response to Superstorm Sandy, he sponsored legislation to track monies designated to rebuilding. Seeing Sandy as an opportunity for the city to adapt to a rapidly changing climate, he sought chairmanship of the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee. As Chairman, he introduced legislation to revamp the city’s decades old air code, addressed systemic flooding in Southeast Queens and created the City Council's first citywide Environmental Initiative. Currently, Richards is chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, where he worked to negotiate a stronger Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program.

Mathew M. Wambua

Mr. Wambua joined The Richman Group of Companies as President of RHR Funding LLC in October of 2013. RHR Funding LLC is part of The Richman Group’s recently-established mortgage lending business, which includes RICHMAC Funding LLC. Mr. Wambua is charged with growing and expanding the firm’s mortgage lending platform both nationally and within the New York market. In March 2011, Mr. Wambua was appointed Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. During his tenure, Mr. Wambua oversaw the financing of approximately 47,000 housing units, representing a $6 billion investment.

Joe Weisbord

Mr. Weisbord is the Director of Credit and Housing Access at Fannie Mae. He is responsible for developing corporate-wide, strategic business initiatives to increase access to mortgage credit and affordable housing. He works with senior management, customers, regulators and a wide range of industry stakeholders to understand emerging market needs and to develop responses aligned with Fannie Mae’s historic mission, regulatory mandates and business objectives. Mr. Weisbord also led efforts to prevent foreclosures and reduce credit losses through partnerships with lenders, housing and credit counseling organizations, and government in distressed markets across the country. He joined Fannie Mae in 2005 to lead the company’s homelessness initiative, which invested in creation of over 7,800 units of supportive and affordable housing for homeless and at-risk individuals and families. Mr. Weisbord has over 30 years of experience in affordable housing finance, development and policy.

Escalations

Our Escalations program works directly with housing counselors statewide to resolve complex cases for homeowners seeking to avoid foreclosure. We leverage our extensive relationships with staff at banks and mortgage servicers to escalate cases and get results. The Escalations program is a component of the Attorney General’s Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP).

Housing Mobility

Call 311 or 646-786-0888

Our Housing Mobility Program coordinates long-term, affordable solutions for New Yorkers leaving homes they can no longer afford. The program helps transitioning homeowners explore their housing and financial options and offers tailored plans that include referrals and resources to help identify alternative affordable housing and access financial empowerment services.

New York State Mortgage Assistance Program

Go to nysmap.org to learn more.

New Yorkers across the state can now apply for the New York State Mortgage Assistance Program. NYS-MAP provides a 0% interest mortgage loan up to $40,000 to eligible New York homeowners at risk of foreclosure. Homeowners must have experienced a financial hardship and must demonstrate an ability to afford their housing payments after receiving assistance.

FloodHelpNY.org Home Resiliency Audit

Learn more at FloodHelpNY.org/homeowners

Homeowners who are eligible for a free Home Resiliency Audit have an engineer visit their house and meet one-on-one with a housing counselor to discuss their vulnerability to future flooding. The result is a report and elevation certificate that allows homeowners to determine their future flood insurance rates and what mitigation options might fit their needs.

Senior Homeowner Initiative

The Senior Homeowner Initiative is a coordinated effort led by Center for NYC Neighborhoods and seven community based legal services and housing counseling organizations dedicated to serving and educating elderly homeowners. With the New York City Council as a principal supporter, this initiative focuses on integrating cross-sector services by coordinating with government partners, elected officials, and mortgage lenders to collectively reach out to community-based organizations and older homeowners, advance policies protecting seniors and homeowners, and provide services to address foreclosure, estate, and financial issues.