“Picture Ted passing out sandwiches to persons hungry and homeless, with the Coalition for the Homeless. Picture Ted standing toe-to-toe with City Commissioners… advocating for housing and services for the same people. Picture Ted commanding a room of more than 1,000 supportive housing practitioners encouraging them in their daily work and urging them to do more to house and support formerly homeless people. Picture Ted as a father introducing his son Henry to Cornel West,” reminisces Rev. Laura Jervis of West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing. She continues “the many facets of Ted Houghton have taken our movement to places we couldn’t have imagined eight years ago. Ted’s intelligence, imagination, energy, and persistence combined to give extraordinary leadership to the Network and to supportive housing nationwide.”
After eight years as Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Network of New York, Ted Houghton left in September to become the Executive Deputy Commissioner at New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR). The supportive housing community is thrilled by his elevation and hopeful as to what he can accomplish.
Ted’s contributions to our community are substantial: After arriving in 2006 Ted wasted no time elevating supportive housing and the Network He was part of the transition team on housing weaving supportive housing into the state’s priorities and bringing an influx of funding and support for the developers working across the state to end homelessness.
Fast forward a couple of years to the election of Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose first priority on taking office is an ambitious overhaul of New York State’s Medicaid system. Ted didn’t miss a beat: as a direct result of Ted and the Network’s advocacy work, the Department of Health led by Cuomo appointee Jason Helgerson, created the MRT Supportive Housing Program, which has so far brought more than $250 million into creating supportive housing – the largest influx of new funding since NY/NY III.
In New York City, his advocacy led to a meeting in which former HPD Commissioner Mathew Wambua quietly announced that he planned to double supportive housing development -- despite losing nearly half his federal HOME funding. Mr. Wambua says, "Ted’s tendency towards impassioned commitment has characterized his life in public service. And all of us within the affordable housing community have been significant beneficiaries."
"Ted has been an extraordinary partner as Co-Chair of the Housing First! initiative. His ability to think creatively about housing policy and his tireless passion for the cause was a key factor in HF!'s success, " says Todd Gomez of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Co-Chair of HF!.
JoAnne Page of Fortune Society told us “Ted’s shown real leadership and vision, and has had tremendous impact as a strategist in the field. He’s done a helluva lot!”
We couldn’t agree more.