Brian Lawlor has been named commissioner of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) as well as the CEO and president of “nyhomes,” which includes the New York State Housing Finance Agency and the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA).

The appointment consolidates the leadership positions at the different agencies. The agencies will remain separate entities, but the move is seen as the first step in creating a single management structure.

Gov. David Paterson’s office said synergies in administration and asset management are expected to produce an annual savings of $3.5 million. In his new post, Lawlor will earn an annual salary of $225,000.

His appointment comes about four months after the state’s two top housing officials resigned.

Deborah VanAmerongen stepped down as DHCR commissioner at the start of the year. She is now an adviser with the Nixon Peabody law firm, which has a large affordable housing practice.

Priscilla Almodovar stepped down as head of the housing finance agency and SONYMA in December and is now COO of the community development banking business at JPMorgan Chase.

Their replacement is very familiar with affordable housing in New York.

Lawlor had been serving as DHCR’s acting commissioner since January and as executive deputy commissioner since 2007. From 1992 to 1994, he worked as assistant secretary to the governor for housing, and in1994, he had been counsel to the state director of housing.