Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the appointment of Deputy Commissioner Richard R. White to lead the new Tenant Protection Unit at New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the state's housing agency.
Governor Cuomo's Budget and Reform Plan for 2012-13 dedicates $4.8 million to the Tenant Protection Unit (TPU), which will proactively enforce landlord obligations to tenants and impose strict penalties for failure to comply with HCR orders and New York's rent laws.
"In 2011, we passed the greatest strengthening of the state's rent laws in forty years, and today we are taking the next step to protect tenants by appointing Deputy Commissioner White," Governor Cuomo said. "Our new Tenant Protection Unit will proactively prevent problems and root out fraud that can wreak havoc in the lives of rent-regulated residents. With his deep background in both law enforcement and real estate law, Deputy Commissioner White is just the person our state needs for this crucial new position."
Since 2010, Deputy Commissioner White has been of counsel at the Manhattan law firm of Cyruli Shanks Hart & Zizmor LLP, specializing in corporate compliance and real estate litigation. Previously, he served as Deputy Commissioner for Investigation, Trials & Litigation at the New York City Department of Correction. He also has been the Deputy Commissioner of Operations at the New York City Department of Probation. He previously served as a Homicide and Senior Trial Attorney in the Office of Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau.
Deputy Commissioner White holds a B.A. in Economics from Franklin & Marshall College, a J.D. from Widener University School of Law, and was an Executive Education Fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. His professional associations include the Bar Association of New York City, the National Association of Inspectors General, and the National Black Prosecutors Association.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner/CEO Darryl C. Towns said, "Deputy Commissioner White has already shown tremendous leadership in his law enforcement career and now his expertise will continue to benefit New York State. We are looking forward to his work to ensure that the one million rent-regulated tenants of New York State are well represented."
Deputy Commissioner White said, "I want to thank Governor Cuomo for this tremendous opportunity to serve the people of New York State. I look forward to working with Commissioner Towns to build upon the many accomplishments that he and the Governor have already made through Homes and Community Renewal. I am eager to apply my experience from the public and private sectors to help protect the tenants of our state through this vital new unit."