Leila Bozorg Appointed NYC Executive Director of Housing

Mandate is to preserve existing housing, protect renters and homeowners, and build more housing across all five boroughs.

Leila Bozorg, Executive Director of Housing, New York City
Leila Bozorg, Executive Director of Housing, New York City

At the recent New York Housing Conference’s annual awards ceremony, New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the appointment of Leila Bozorg — a national affordable housing expert — as the city’s new executive director of housing, part of the expanded housing, economic development, and workforce team under Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer. To further his administration’s commitment to accelerating the production and preservation of affordable housing, Mayor Adams also launched the “Housing-at-Risk Task Force” to save projects that are in jeopardy due to the expiration of the “Affordable Housing New York” 421-a tax abatement program.

Created through an executive order signed by Mayor Adams today, the “Housing-at-Risk Task Force” will bring together city agencies and external project management support to help ensure the thousands of affordable units at risk of losing their financing will be delivered as safe, high-quality, affordable homes for New Yorkers. The task force will work to ensure up to 50 projects will stay on schedule to deliver at least 5,000 affordable units before the deadline in 2026.

“We are not waiting to move forward on our ambitious housing agenda,” said Mayor Adams. “We are doing everything we can to combat the housing and affordability crisis for New Yorkers now. And today’s appointment of Leila Bozorg as our new executive director of housing and the launch of the Housing-at-Risk Task Force underscore our urgency and will deliver new tools and support in our fight against this crisis.”

“Every New Yorker deserves dignified housing they can afford. Delivering on this fundamental vision for the world’s greatest city demands clear-eyed commitment and action from each of us—from the capitol to the council, from each of our neighbors to the community boards that so intimately know each borough, block, and lot,” said incoming Executive Director of Housing Bozorg. “I’m honored that Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer have charged me with leading the housing agenda, and I acknowledge all those whose shoulders I stand on and amongst, as we continue to tackle the affordability crises head-on together. I intend to bring my two decades of experience in housing policy, city planning, and promoting equity to the task, and look forward to working with partners across agencies and sectors in the effort. Every part of life in New York City begins with a safe place to call home, and everyone deserves the opportunity to build and sustain their lives here.”

As executive director for housing, Bozorg will be charged with using every tool at the city’s disposal to preserve existing housing—including at New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) facilities—as well as protect renters and homeowners and build more housing across the five boroughs. Bozorg will partner with relevant staff, agencies, and offices focused on housing, including the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York City Housing Development Corporation, NYCHA, and the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations.

While the 421-a tax abatement for affordable housing projects expired as of June 15, 2022, projects that began before its expiration can still receive the tax benefit as long as they are complete by June 15, 2026. To help these projects reach completion, the new task force will convene the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Fire Department of the City of New York, New York City Department of Transportation, and HPD, as well as local authorities and external parties. Through an application process and proactive outreach, the task force will lead affordable projects through a “boot camp” process to establish a clear schedule for permitting and inspections to help the projects obtain sign-off to welcome residents. The application to enter the program is available online.

This new initiative builds on the Adams administration’s efforts to cut red tape and combat the city’s housing and affordability crisis. In December 2022, Mayor Adams released “Get Stuff Built,” a comprehensive, three-pronged effort to rapidly accelerate the pace of housing production with a “moonshot” goal of meeting the need for 500,000 new homes over the next decade. In September 2023, Mayor Adams unveiled his “City of Yes for Housing Opportunity” proposal to create “a little more housing in every neighborhood” through historic, pro-housing zoning reforms.

Bozorg is a committed public servant with two decades of experience improving equitable access to opportunity in housing and education. She rejoins the City of New York after serving as the chief of strategy and policy at NYC Kids RISE, where she helped facilitate the citywide expansion of the Save for College program. In 2021, Bozorg was appointed by the Manhattan borough president to the New York City Planning Commission.

From 2014 to 2020, Bozorg served in multiple roles at HPD, including as chief of staff to the commissioner, and later as the deputy commissioner for neighborhood strategies, where she managed teams with over 300 staff in overseeing HPD’s Housing Choice Voucher program, as well as the agency’s land use, predevelopment, and neighborhood planning strategies. While at HPD, Bozorg was the 2019 recipient of the Citizen Housing and Planning Commission’s Ibo Balton Award for Community Planning.

Prior to her work at HPD, Bozorg served at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for four years during the Obama administration, concluding her federal service as a senior policy advisor in the Office of Affordable Housing Preservation. Bozorg also worked in Ahmedabad, India as a fellow with the American India Foundation. She was named a 2022 “40 under 40 Rising Star” by City & State magazine, a 2023 “Notable LGBTQIA+ leader” by Crain’s New York, and a 2023 “Pride Power 100” by City & State.

She holds a B.A. in Government Studies from Wesleyan University and a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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