TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy announced today that Charles A. Richman, Executive Director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) will be retiring from public service as of December 31, 2020 after nearly 50 years of service.
Over the course of his career in New Jersey state government, Charles "Chuck" Richman has spearheaded policy development in areas encompassing affordable housing, fire safety, community planning, budget development, and economic revitalization. Before his 2018 appointment to the NJHMFA, Richman served as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), where he had worked for 31 years. Prior to his leadership at DCA, he served as Executive Director of the NJ State Energy Office as well as Assistant Commissioner and then Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Energy. Over the years, Richman also served on prominent boards and commissions, including the Council on Affordable Housing; Casino Reinvestment Development Authority; the State Planning Commission, the NJ Historic Trust; and the Asbury Park Housing Authority among others.
"Chuck Richman has been a lifelong champion for policy initiatives that matter most to New Jersey’s underserved communities," said Governor Murphy. "From the implementation of the Housing First Initiative, a nationally-recognized supportive housing approach to end chronic homelessness, to his passion and expertise on the provision of affordable housing, Chuck has earned the admiration of DCA and NJHMFA staff, housing partners, and colleagues both inside and outside of state government. His service to the State of New Jersey will be greatly missed."
"For decades, Charles Richman has been at the core of our efforts in New Jersey to provide stable, affordable housing to residents," said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and HMFA board chair. "His work ethic and contributions to New Jersey have become the gold standard in government operations, budgetary matters, legislative strategies, economic development, community planning and advocacy. Chuck leads with compassion and has dedicated his career to the good residents of our State. His leadership and impact will certainly be missed, and we are grateful for his service."
"I've worked closely with Chuck Richman and he is a devoted public servant with a genuine commitment to creating policy that improves the quality of life for New Jersey’s underserved communities," said Leslie A. Anderson, President & CEO, New Jersey Redevelopment Authority. "He leaves an enduring legacy in community development and affordable housing. His indelible mark on the State of New Jersey through the Department of Community Affairs and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency will be difficult to match. I want to honor Chuck for his mentorship of countless staff and leaders including me. While his leadership will be sorely missed, his impact will continue on."
"Increasing the supply of safe, affordable, and accessible housing that meets the needs of a diverse range of households has been at the core of my work at DCA and NJHMFA, as well as my life’s mission. I am most proud of the work I have done to support and develop housing for people with special needs," said Executive Director Richman. "I am honored to have served the residents of the State of New Jersey. I would like to thank Governor Murphy and Lt. Governor Oliver for their support, and I am proud to have worked with exceptional teams, dedicated to creating, supporting, and strengthening our communities."
During his leadership at NJHMFA, Richman has:
Pioneered a statewide model for health-housing partnerships, setting an example for the rest of the country. Recognizing that as community anchor institutions, health care systems play a vital role in strengthening and growing healthier communities, NJHMFA launched in 2019 the innovative and award-winning Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program. Through this program, hospitals are able to invest in their communities, creating affordable rental homes for low- and moderate-income families, as well as residents with special needs and high utilization of emergency services. NJHMFA’s first health-housing collaboration was with St. Joseph’s Medical Center in 2019. In addition to 71 affordable apartments, which includes 10 for special needs, the resulting development in the heart of Paterson will include clinical space for the delivery of social, health, and wellness services. There are already 3 approved NJ hospital projects under this award-winning program with two additional projects upcoming.
Launched the statewide Down Payment Assistance Program (DPA) which provides $10,000 for qualified first-time homebuyers to use as down payment and closing cost assistance when purchasing a home in New Jersey. The DPA is an interest-free, five-year forgivable second loan with no monthly payment. HMFA’s existing DPA program has grown 326% in volume during the Murphy Administration, from under 800 new homeowners assisted over 2016/2017 to almost 2,550 new homeowners assisted over 2018/2019. Despite COVID-related market disruptions, HMFA expects to support around 1500 mortgages in 2020. During this timeframe, NJHMFA has also awarded over 12,500 multifamily apartments and more than 500 special needs beds.
Led the Special Needs Housing Partnership Loan Program (SNHPLP) in creating affordable, permanent supportive housing and community residences for individuals with developmental disabilities. This initiative, which has provided $50 million in funding, aligns with the State of New Jersey’s goal to help integrate people with special needs into the community who are able to be moved whenever possible from developmental centers, those who are part of the Return Home NJ Initiative, those who are on the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) waiting list, and those who require emergency community residential placements into appropriate housing.
During his tenure at DCA, Richman was responsible for regulatory reform in a variety of building and housing codes; evaluations of municipal operations; formulation of legislative strategies; preparation of department budgets and priorities; contract management; and supervision of operating divisions. During this time, Richman:
Celebrated DCA’s 50-year history with a program highlighting the services the Department has provided to local governments and residents and the lasting contributions that DCA programs have made in improving the quality-of-life in New Jersey. Across decades of social and economic change – working with local officials and community leaders – DCA helped municipal and county governments face and overcome challenges to promote safe, strong, and diverse communities.
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, helped lead efforts to provide Sandy-displaced families with housing options and in administering federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds to assist homeowners, renters, and local governments in their Sandy recovery and rebuilding efforts.
Launched the Statewide Housing First Initiative, awarding tenant-based State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) vouchers and supportive service funding to agencies across the state. The vouchers provided housing for chronically homeless people who are frequent users of public systems, and housing for homeless veterans.
Oversaw the delivery of housing vouchers and rental assistance for low-income families, veterans, homeless households who require supportive services, and youth at risk of homelessness.
A successor for the NJHMFA Executive Director position will be announced shortly. For additional information regarding Charles Richman, please visit NJHMFA.