By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
New York—The New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) and the African American Real Estate Professionals of New York (AAREPNY) have inked a one-year formal partnership. The agreement is designed to strengthen Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) currently active in the affordable housing industry, as well as to promote engagement in the industry among AAREPNY members not currently active in affordable housing.
Formed in 1998, NYSAFAH is the trade association for New York’s affordable housing industry, counting 300 members statewide, including for-profit and nonprofit developers, lenders, investors, syndicators, attorneys, architects and others. NYSAFAH’s membership is collectively responsible for virtually all of the housing built in New York State with federal, state, or local subsidies.
Thus far, NYSAFAH has held several MWBE networking and educational events, including speed-networking sessions for established NYSAFAH developers and general contractors with MWBE subcontractors and professional service firms. Through brief interview sessions, MWBE firms learn about opportunities to grow their businesses, while larger developers hear how MWBE firms can provide services to upcoming projects.
AAREPNY is the New York arm of a national trade group advancing the economic livelihood of African-American real estate professionals by providing education, networking opportunities, market information, and more. Under the year-long agreement, the two organizations will offer reciprocal membership, networking events and educational programming to support joint venture partnerships, among other activities.
“If diversity of the commercial industry as a whole is to succeed nationally, New York must lead the way,” says AAREPNY president Dwayne Jeffrey in a press statement. “New York must serve as the example that majority- and minority-owned firms in the private sector, along with government, can work together. Our joint effort to support minority participation will promote positive change in the industry.”