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2022 Honorees

Click below to read more about each of the affordable housing champions being honored at the 2022 Habitat House Party.

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Brian Hsu

Partner, Goldstein Hall

Brian Hsu

Partner, Goldstein Hall

Brian Hsu concentrates his practice in affordable housing development, banking, cooperative and condominium law, and real estate finance.

Brian represents for-profit and not-for-profit developers in a wide range of complex real estate transactions involving public and private financing of multifamily housing projects. He advises owners and developers of real estate in the acquisition, construction, financing, disposition, leasing and management of multi-family housing developments, mixed-use commercial projects and residential property. He also has special expertise with transactions involving the use of tax exempt bond and federal low-income housing tax credits, HOME, HUD, and local New York State and New York City programs.

Brian also acts as counsel to national financial institutions and governmental agencies in a wide array of sophisticated commercial real estate transactions including loan facilities, secured and unsecured debt, construction and permanent loans. Brian advises cooperative (market rate and limited equity) and condominium boards on all matters relating to their management and operation.

Brian is a frequent presenter on housing issues, including affordable housing policy matters, joint venture topics and Year 15 LIHTC issues. He has lectured and led workshops for numerous organizations, including the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH), New York Housing Conference, Enterprise Foundation, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation. He currently serves as a board of director of Habitat for Humanity NYC Fund, Inc., a New York community development financial institution.

He earned his law degree from Brooklyn Law School and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York-Binghamton.

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Valerie D. White

Senior Executive Director, LISC NYC

Valerie D. White

Senior Executive Director, LISC NYC

Valerie D. White is a chief executive, economic development expert, and leading advocate with more than 30 years of experience across private, public, and non-profit sectors. Valerie’s professional career started in city government, working for the City of New York’s Department of Personnel followed by eight years with the New York City Housing Authority, where she led the highly visible implementation of three urban revitalization projects with a budget totaling over $250 million.

Following her work in city government, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services tapped Valerie to help lead its municipal and public finances department. As managing director, Valerie led a team of approximately 50 analysts and established herself as the go-to thought leader in the international public finance housing sector, authoring nearly 60 commentary papers on market trends and issues relevant to the sector.

Since her time spent in the private sector, Valerie has become a leading figure in New York’s economic development space, particularly in devising and implementing community development initiatives for the state’s most vulnerable and financially distressed communities.

Valerie played a critical role in the resurgence of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where she served as vice president of external affairs, building strategic partnerships with government leaders, community groups and corporations, which in turn generated significant grant funding and raised the Navy Yard’s global, national, and local visibility.

Valerie’s success at the Navy Yard led her next to Empire State Development (ESD), a statewide organization that provides loans, grants, tax credits, real estate development, marketing and other forms of assistance to promote economic opportunity.

As executive vice president at ESD, as well as executive director of the agency’s Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development, Valerie spearheaded business development and engagement strategies for MWBEs, while establishing and executing the strategic development of outreach, positioning, and marketing strategies for the division’s goals for MWBEs, developers, prime contractors, community partners, and other external stakeholders.

Since 2020, Valerie has served as the executive director, now senior executive director, of LISC NYC, the flagship New York City office of the national Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), where she’s committed herself and the organization to a singular focus: closing the racial wealth gap through equitable community development.

Named executive director of LISC NYC just as the COVID-19 virus took hold of New York, Valerie leveraged her network and time-tested economic development know-how to establish a Small Business Relief & Recovery Fund to support hundreds of minority-owned businesses across the five boroughs with grants, saving these businesses on the brink of collapse. Valerie’s leadership ultimately led to more than $4 million dollars injected into more than 400 small businesses, along with an additional $13 million in PPP loans provided to non-profits and small businesses. Additionally, under Valerie’s leadership, LISC NYC has invested nearly $40 million in affordable housing projects, leveraging $335 million and supporting the development of more than 850 affordable units. She’s since developed innovative programs like a Developers of Color Training Program and forged public-private partnerships with agencies like the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York to expand opportunities for Black and brown developers, businesses, and neighborhoods.

Valerie holds both a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a law degree from Fordham University, and master’s degree and Certificate in Organization Development from The New School. She also serves on the advisory board for the Fordham Urban Law Center and is a director on the Fordham Law Alumni Association.

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Assemblywoman Latrice Walker

Assembly District 55

Assemblywoman Latrice Walker

Assembly District 55

Latrice M. Walker has been serving people her entire adult life.

Walker brings to the New York State Assembly a passion and fortitude reminiscent of the streets of Brownsville, Brooklyn where she was born and raised. Even as a teen, Walker always wanted to see her name in lights. She had dreams of becoming an actress, but the rigors and rewards of law school, passing the bar and being a practicing attorney drew her back to service.

A graduate of the Pace University School of Law, Walker built a strong record of advocacy that eventually led her to politics. She represented people who were targeted by the NYPD’s use of the unconstitutional police tactic known as stop-and-frisk. Walker battled in court on behalf of tenants, including NYCHA residents, who were on the brink of eviction. And she worked closely with advocates and elected officials to preserve affordable housing.

Walker learned the intricacies of the legislative process while working as counsel to Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), mastering everything from organizing and programming to analyzing the effectiveness of community initiatives. In 2014, the seat in New York State’s 55th Assembly District opened up. Members of her community encouraged her to seek office. It was now or never, she thought.

Walker scored a resounding victory and was later sworn into office. It was her time to march from the streets of Brownsville to the Halls of Justice – perfectly positioned to advocate, agitate, legislate, and litigate.

Walker is the chair of the Assembly’s Election Law Committee. And she’s a member of the Housing, Judiciary, Codes and coveted Ways and Means Committees. She is a leading voice on voting rights, criminal justice reform, environmental justice, affordable housing, tenants’ rights, and a host of other issues that are important to New Yorkers.

While she has compiled an impressive legislative record, she is probably best known for being the engine behind the 2019 bail reform law which eliminated cash bail for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. The intent was to stem mass incarceration and to dismantle the two-tier system of cash bail where people who could afford to pay bail were able to wait for their trials at home. Those who couldn’t afford to pay – the majority of them Black or brown — were jailed pretrial.

When recent rollbacks were proposed near the end of the budget process earlier this year, Walker went on a hunger strike for nearly three weeks in protest. Some of the rollbacks were beaten back, while others succeeded. She has vowed to keep fighting. Her display of courage drew praise from Buffalo to Brownsville.

In her beloved 55th District, she is a mentor to young people and is beloved by seniors. She is a familiar face in churches, businesses and in the courtyards of public housing developments that no doubt remind her of the Prospect Plaza Houses where she was raised.

When Assemblywoman Walker is not in Albany, she mentors young people, spends time with seniors and is a dedicated mother to her daughter, Nile Anderson. She’s an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She lives in Ocean Hill-Brownsville and belongs to Wayside Baptist Church.

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Edward W. (Peter) Russell

Board President, Allied Community Enterprises

Edward W. (Peter) Russell

Board President, Allied Community Enterprises

Peter Russell is board president of Allied Community Enterprises (ACE), a non-profit advocate for and developer of affordable housing in Westchester County. He is a board member of the Pleasantville Housing Development Fund and serves as chair of Westchester County’s Housing Opportunity Commission. He volunteers with and serves on the organizing committee of Open Arms for Refugees, a non-profit organization that welcomes and resettles refugees and asylees in Northern Westchester. He attended the American University of Beirut, is a graduate of Emory University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Before over thirty years in international banking, Peter and his wife Lynn served in Iran as Peace Corps Volunteers. They are grateful for snatches of time with seven lively grandchildren and the nearby families of their three children.

The 2022 Habitat House Party Host Committee

Doug and Claudia Morse
North Lake Capital, LLC

Benjamin Rodney
Hines

Anthony Montalto Jr.
Jaros, Baum & Bolles

Blair Lichter
Attorney

David Stein
Adobe

Ashley Neil Serrao
Tradeweb

2022 Sponsors

Thank you to our partners, who help make our work possible.