Government Partner of the Year

RuthAnne Visnauskas

RuthAnne Visnauskas has had a stellar career. Former HPD  Commissioner Mathew Wambua summed it up best when he noted, “She’s the only person I know who has served as both the principal architect of the city’s historic affordable/supportive housing plan AND the state’s.” In between these jobs, she also headed up the affordable housing program at the city’s largest anti-poverty organization, Robin  Hood.

RuthAnne was named Commissioner/ CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) in February, having served as HCR’s Executive Deputy Commissioner for Housing Development. As Commissioner, RuthAnne helped secure the first five years of funding for the state’s groundbreaking commitment to develop 20,000 units of supportive housing over 15 years. In her earlier role, she helped craft the Supportive Housing Opportunity Program (SHOP), the primary capital program for this landmark commitment.

The program is the first large-scale long-term commitment to creating supportive housing development throughout New York State. Its creation was a major accomplishment, one that will benefi thousands of the most vulnerable New Yorkers for decades to come.

Now, as Commissioner, she is ensuring its swift, effective implementation.

Prior to joining HCR, Visnauskas was Managing Director of the Housing Advisory Board for Robin Hood, a group established by the foundation to fund initiatives to advance affordable housing.

RuthAnne also held several key positions at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the nation’s largest municipal housing agency, including the role of Commissioner.

Prior to taking the helm at HPD, RuthAnne served as Deputy Commissioner for Development, spearheading innovative development programs, including the Preserving City Neighborhoods (PCN) initiative, designed to purchase the notes of overleveraged buildings, and stabilize them by ultimately transferring them to responsible not-for-profit owners.

NYC Housing Development Corpo- ration President Eric Enderlin says, “RuthAnne brings tremendous vision, commitment and compassion to her work, raising the bar on what we should all expect of good government and public service.”

Beatriz de la Torre of Robin Hood adds, ”RuthAnne’s ability to get things done is extraordinary. Her work in affordable housing, both at the city and the state, will leave a profound mark in New York.”

For her outstanding work in helping to imagine and now build supportive housing across New York State, the Network is delighted to name RuthAnne Visnauskas Government Partner of the Year.