Mathew Wambua, commissioner of New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), is leaving his post to become president of RHR Funding, part of The Richman Group’s mortgage lending business.

RuthAnne Visnauskas,  HPD deputy commissioner for development, has been appointed to take Wambua's place.

“We see many niche markets in New York where Richman’s expertise and resources will add value, even in a market as tight as New York City,” said Bill Traylor, president of Richman Housing Resources, in a statement. “Mat brings a breadth of relationships, a unique set of skills and the energy that will enable Richman to penetrate and reach these markets.”

Headquartered in Greenwich, Conn., The Richman Group is a leading national real estate development and investment company. Wambua will work out of the firm’s New York City offices beginning in October.

The firm is also one of the largest low-income housing tax credit syndicators and one of the nation’s largest residential property owners and developers. Wambua will be charged with growing and expanding the firm’s new mortgage lending platform nationally and within the New York market.

He was appointed HPD commissioner in early 2011.  During his tenure, he oversaw the financing of approximately 47,000 housing units representing a $6 billion investment.

He has led several key initiatives, including refinancing the preservation of the city’s largest multifamily affordable housing development, Coop City, and financing the construction of phase one of Hunter’s Point, the largest new affordable development since Coop City. The department also recently launched a micro-unit pilot program and doubled the production of supportive housing.