Cestero Returns to Head HPD

Rafael Cestero has been named New York City's housing commissioner. He will head the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

Cestero joins the city from Enterprise Community Partners, where he has been senior vice president and chief program officer overseeing the organization's national programs related to housing production, income targeting, and quality of- life measures.

The appointment marks Cestero's return to HPD, where he was previously deputy commissioner, managing the office of development from 2004 to 2007.

Cestero replaces Shaun Donovan, who has become secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Utah Housing Names CEO

Grant S. Whitaker has become president and CEO of the Utah Housing Corp. He takes over the top post after serving as the organization's senior vice president for 25 years.

Utah Housing Corp. helps about 2,000 families to purchase their first homes and funds about 800 affordable apartments each year. It allocates low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) and provides other financing to developers.

“This is a critical time to demonstrate leadership in stimulating the housing market,” Whitaker said in a statement. “Housing led this economy into recession, and it can also lead the way out of the recession.”

Whitaker takes over the top post from retiring William Erickson.

Calogero Takes New Post

Industry veteran Judith A. Calogero has been appointed CEO of the New York Housing Conference, a coalition of nonprofit and for-profit developers, owners, managers, and funders of affordable housing.

Her appointment fills the leadership vacancy left by the passing of organization founder Clara Fox in 2007.

Calogero is a former commissioner of the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal. Most recently, she served as the Northeast director of RBC Capital Markets, Tax Credit Equity Group, supervising the origination of affordable, historic, and solar tax credit investments for the bank.

Founded in 1973, the New York Housing Conference joined the National Housing Conference as its first regional affiliate in 1976.

Mid-Peninsula Names VP

Jan Lindenthal has been appointed vice president of real estate development at Mid-Peninsula Housing Coalition, a leading California nonprofit housing developer.

She will oversee all of the organization's development work, which includes about 450 units in construction, 600 units in entitlement, and another 1,000 units in early predevelopment. Lindenthal's team will also be responsible for sourcing and assessing new projects and managing relationships with key partners.

She recently served as vice president of development and construction at South County Housing since 1998.

New Deputy Director Joins South Carolina Agency

Larry Arney has become deputy director for programs at the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority.

He brings a diverse housing background to the agency. Arney worked as an architect before becoming the executive director of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. During his tenure, Atlanta Habitat built 350 houses, including 100 in the year preceding the 1996 Olympics. He left Habitat to start his own housing development fi rm.

As deputy director, Arney will be responsible for the administration of numerous departments, including LIHTCs, the housing trust fund, and the HOME program.

Habitat Founder Dies

Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat for Humanity, died Feb. 3 after a brief illness. He was 74.

A self-made millionaire, Fuller walked away from a successful business career to start the internationally known housing group in 1976. Since then, Habitat has helped more than 300,000 families move into their own homes. Assisted by volunteers, homeowners are expected to help build their houses.

President Bill Clinton presented Fuller with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor, in 1996.

Fuller and his wife, Linda, led Habitat for 29 years before they were fired from the organization in 2005. They then founded The Fuller Center for Housing, another nonprofit housing organization.