Zombie Homes Preservation Fellow

Organization: NYC Housing Preservation & Development
Website: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/index.page

Posted: February 4, 2021 | Closing: February 2, 2021

Job Description

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York Plan which was recently expanded and accelerated through Housing New York 2.0 to complete the initial goal of 200,000 homes two years ahead of schedule by 2022, and achieve an additional 100,000 homes over the following four years, for a total of 300,000 homes by 2026.


About the Office of Development

The Office of Development leads the agency’s effort in implementing the Mayor’s Housing Plan to create or preserve 300,000 units of affordable housing by 2026. This is performed in close collaboration with HPD colleagues, other City and state agencies, and the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC).


About the Division of Property Disposition & Finance

The Division of Property Disposition & Finance within the Division of Preservation administers and develops innovative programs related to community stabilization, revitalization, and economic opportunity. The division includes multiple programs that engage directly with residents and works jointly with non-profit organizations, including Community Land Trusts (CLTs) to repair and stabilize homes and communities. Programs within the division also support and cultivate affordable homeownership, including single-family and HDFC cooperative ownership, facilitating financial security and asset building.


Job Description

The Division of Property Disposition & Finance seeks a community development professional with strong relationship management and financial modeling abilities to be the Zombie Homes Preservation Fellow (Zombies Fellow). As the Zombies Fellow, you will identify and develop strategies for acquiring zombie homes* and repositioning them as affordable homeownership opportunities. You will manage internal and external partnerships to implement Zombies acquisition strategies within HPD and with lenders and partners outside of the agency. HPD received support from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to develop a framework for an acquisition/disposition program and policy strategies for returning zombie homes to productive use. You will work to implement the objectives of this grant.


Under the direction of the Director of Operations and Director of Community Land Trust Initiatives (the Directors), your role will be to build on the HPD Office of Neighborhood Strategies (ONS)’s analysis, field, and enforcement work to develop a financing and policy framework for redeveloping zombie homes in New York City. Your work will include collaborating with divisions in the Office of Development, as well as HPD ONS, Planning, Legal, and other teams to identify properties suitable for acquisition/disposition and potential HPD financing programs for the proposed acquisition/disposition strategies. You will engage mortgage holders and other external stakeholders in identifying potential properties within their portfolios for acquisition/disposition and in executing a development strategy for these sites. Additionally, you will support the Directors with special projects as needed. You will work in close coordination with staff across HPD’s related homeownership work, including CLT Initiatives, the Community Restoration Fund (CRF), and HPD’s small homes rehabilitation programs.


To fulfill this role, you will need to possess analytical and interpersonal skills, including a positive attitude, a collaborative disposition, an ability to develop and manipulate financial models, attention to detail, and creative problem-solving. You will also need to be committed to stabilizing and revitalizing low-income communities.


Primary responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:


  • Conducting research, including field work, to develop acquisition/disposition policies and processes for zombie homes and other distressed small homes;
  • Developing financing terms and underwriting models for financing zombie home acquisitions;
  • Coordinating with multiple internal divisions to ensure consistent and rational policies towards acquisition and redevelopment of zombie homes and other distressed small homes are applied across programs;
  • Coordinating with numerous outside partners to ensure program outcomes are achieved;
  • Performing general project management duties including conducting detailed financial analyses; preparing and reviewing project pro formas; performing acquisition and development due diligence; managing project timelines and budgets; negotiating and reviewing legal documents;
  • Identifying and securing public funds and private financing necessary for returning zombie homes to productive use as affordable housing;
  • Fielding and responding to inquiries, both internal and external, about zombie homes. As part of this effort, you will be responsible for proactively managing issues, troubleshooting, making appropriate recommendations, and ensuring all necessary approvals;
  • Serving as an internal advocate for moving forward policy proposals to address zombie and other distressed small homes; this includes preparing policy memos and other materials for internal and external stakeholders;
  • Assisting in the grant management for the support from LISC, including tracking program deliverables and outcomes and compiling reporting documents for submission;
  • Representing HPD at community events and meetings with lenders and other stakeholders;
  • As needed, communicating with elected officials, other City agencies, developers, lenders, community groups and other stakeholders as necessary, including presenting program materials at interagency meetings, meetings with elected officials and community meetings;
  • Other responsibilities and initiatives as may be required to ensure the success of the team, the Division of Preservation, the Office of Development, and the Agency.


The ideal candidate should have experience collaborating with staff and supervisors, a record of achieving results in a fast-paced environment, experience managing programs as well as seeking ways to improve programs and procedures, strong financial analysis skills including financial modeling and financial statement analysis, a detailed-oriented and self-motivated work ethic, and an ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines. They should possess strong organization and communication skills and be proficient in Microsoft Office Suite.


Preferred Skills & Experience


  • Knowledge of NYC government and housing issues;
  • A master’s degree in city planning, public administration, public policy, urban studies, finance, law, or economics and at least one year of relevant full-time work experience or a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of relevant full-time work experience;
  • Experience with housing finance, real estate underwriting and financial feasibility analysis;
  • Project management experience;
  • Strong follow-through and focus on timely results;
  • Excellent analytical, quantitative, organization and research skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with others;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Experience with presentations and public speaking;
  • Facility with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint;
  • Ability to take initiative and to work both independently and with others
  • Knowledge of community-based, anti-racist development strategies

How to Apply



To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Chantella Mitchell (mitchec@hpd.nyc.gov) with “Zombie Homes Fellow” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Salary: $36.25 per hour

Full-Time Position**: 35 hours/week

* A zombie home is a vacant, physically distressed, 1-4 unit home that is more than 90 days delinquent on its mortgage.

**Please note that this is a temporary position and does not include health insurance coverage or paid vacation. The position requires someone who can start immediately.

How to Apply

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Chantella Mitchell (mitchec@hpd.nyc.gov) with “Zombie Homes Fellow” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

< View All Job Listings