Some of the city’s largest owners of available land on which to build are churches and synagogues. But what are the “best practices” for creating successful and equitable partnerships with developers, builders and funders that will help foster the development and construction of affordable housing that is “more than a roof?

Putting Faith In Housing: A Panel on Innovative Solutions to NYC’s Affordable Housing Shortage

Putting Faith In Housing: A Panel on Innovative Solutions to NYC’s Affordable Housing Shortage

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
New York Athletic Club / President’s Room
180 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019
8:30-10:30 am

A panel discussion tackling the burgeoning area of faith-based affordable housing in New York City, sponsored by Friedman LLP, a leading accounting and advisory firm with professionals dedicated to serving the affordable housing community; Goldstein Hall PLLC, a full-service law firm with a concentration in affordable housing and community development; Chase Bank, one of the largest affordable housing lenders in the community; and The NHP Foundation, a leading builder of quality affordable housing.



Richard Burns, President & CEO, The NHP Foundation

Reverend Karim Camara and Minister Richard A. Smith


Charlie Herman, Business & Culture Editor, WNYC Radio WNYC

Reverend Karim Camara, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services
Mike Greenwald, MPPM, CPA, Partner, Friedman LLP
Brian Hsu, Partner, Goldstein Hall PLLC
Nathan Simms, Assistant Commissioner, New Construction Finance, NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Jamie Smarr, Senior Vice President, Affiliate Program, The NHP Foundation
Richard A. Smith, Assoc., AIA, President/CEO, Temple Builders, LLC
Dave Walsh, Senior Vice-President, Chase Community Development Banking, Chase Bank

Richard Burns, President & CEO, The NHP Foundation



Charlie Herman
Charlie Herman is the Business and Culture Editor for WNYC Radio. He oversees the newsroom’s housing and economic development reporting, as well as recent reports about President Trump’s businesses in New York City. He hosts the weekly business show, Money Talking and also appears on The Brian Lehrer Show and The Takeaway. Charlie joined the station in 2010 after 16 years at ABC News where he held various jobs in New York, LA, Miami and Washington, DC. During his last five years, he was the lead producer for the Business News Unit and covered the financial meltdown and recession. He’s shared a Business News Emmy for the series “The Broken Pension Promise” and received a DuPont and a Peabody Award with the news division for coverage of September 11, 2001.

Honorable Karim Camara
The Honorable Karim Camara, is a minister, motivational speaker, and life coach dedicated to helping individuals and organizations reach their potential. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Faith Based Community Development Services and the Pastor of Abundant Life Church, Brooklyn, NY.

Karim previously served as a Member of the New York State Legislature from 2005 until 2015, representing Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts and East Flatbush as an Assemblyman. He served two terms as Chairman of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, was recognized as one of the Top 40 under 40 in New York State Government and as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful People in New York State.

He graduated from Xavier University of LA with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature (minor: Chemistry) and attained the Master of Divinity (MDiv), New York Theological Seminary). Karim has spoken at colleges across the country, for major companies and organizations including the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library and numerous organizations.

Mike Greenwald
Michael Greenwald, partner at Friedman LLP and Corporate and Business Tax Practice Leader, has over 30 years of experience in public accounting. He has served clients in a variety of industries, including financial services, technology and media, manufacturing, wholesale distribution, private equity, real estate, construction, and professional services.

His expertise includes: ASC 470 and FIN 48 consulting and review for domestic and multi-national companies; ESOP transaction consulting and structuring; domestic and cross-border M&A and financial transaction structuring and due diligence; real estate and partnership transaction review and consultation; feasibility studies for acquisitions and divestitures of businesses; bankruptcy advice and compliance; and litigation support and expert witness services relating to tax matters.

Education: BA in the Study of the City, Yale University, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), MPPM from the Yale School of Management

Brian Hsu
Brian Hsu specializes in affordable housing development, banking, cooperative and condominium law, and real estate finance. Brian represents for-profit and not-for-profit developers in a wide range of complex real estate transactions involving public and private financing of multifamily housing projects. He advises owners and developers of real estate in the acquisition, construction, financing, disposition, leasing and management of multi-family housing developments, mixed-use commercial projects and residential property. He also has special expertise with transactions involving the use of tax exempt bond and federal low-income housing tax credits, HOME, HUD, and local New York State and New York City programs.

Brian also acts as counsel to national financial institutions and governmental agencies in a wide array of sophisticated commercial real estate transactions including loan facilities, secured and unsecured debt, construction and permanent loans. Brian advises cooperative (market rate and limited equity) and condominium boards on all matters relating to their management and operation.

Brian is a frequent presenter on housing issues, including affordable housing policy matters, joint venture topics and Year 15 LIHTC issues. He has lectured and led workshops for numerous organizations, including the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH), New York Housing Conference, Enterprise Foundation, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation. He currently serves as a board of director of Habitat for Humanity NYC Fund, Inc., a New York community development financial institution.

He earned his law degree from Brooklyn Law School and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York-Binghamton.

Nathan Simms
The newest member of the leadership team in development is Nathan Simms, Assistant Commissioner for New Construction, who will oversee the administration, development, and evaluation of all our multi-family new construction programs as well as our Small Homes New Construction and Down Payment Assistance programs. Nathan recently moved to New York from Washington, DC, where he held various positions at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and helped to lead the Washington, DC municipal housing department. This combination of federal and local experience will be a tremendous asset to us here in New York City, and provide a fresh perspective on our work. Nathan holds a Bachelor of Science in Banking and Finance from Bowie State University, and a Masters of Public Administration from American University.

Jamie Smarr
Jamie Smarr leads the NHP Foundation Affiliate Program, which seeks joint venture partnerships with other nonprofits and community based organizations. Under his leadership, The NHPF Affiliate Program brings managerial strength in finance, asset management, resident services, and fundraising to local organizations who may be interested in partnering on new projects to build their capacity. He is also involved with the NHPF Acquisitions program, which actively seeks to acquire properties and partnership interests in portfolios of affordable housing, including Section 8, FHA insured, Mark to Market, and expiring LIHTC transactions. Recently Jamie successfully created a partnership with People’s Church of the Harvest in Chicago that led to the construction of a new $13 million affordable family rental housing project. He also worked in partnership with the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) to acquire a 200-unit affordable family property in Charlotte, NC. He is responsible for helping create more than 1,500 units of low-income housing via public-private partnerships.

His experience also includes 11 years as Executive Director of the New York City Educational Construction Fund, which is engaged in public-private real estate development partnerships for the New York City school system. Mr. Smarr was also a senior aide to five New York City Schools Chancellors, where he was responsible for capital planning and public/charter school development. He had previously served as Director of Tax and Zoning Incentives for New York City’s Housing Preservation and Development Department.

Mr. Smarr’s extensive education includes a Master’s In Education from Columbia University Teachers College, a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard and a BA in Political Science from Duke University. Jamie also counts in his experience continued studies in finance and taxation at NYU. He was also awarded the Princeton University (Princeton, NJ), Institute of Public Policy and International Affairs Woodrow Wilson Fellowship In Public Policy And International Affairs For Graduate Study.

Richard A. Smith
Richard A. Smith, Assoc., AIA, is the Founder and CEO of Temple Builders, LLC. Temple Builders, LLC is a Design/Build Firm that specializes in the design, development and modernization of Houses of worship throughout the Tri-State area. Temple Builders, LLC was founded to specifically address the development and modernization needs of Houses of Worship. The vision of Temple Builders, LLC is to see vibrant, flourishing congregations that have modern facilities that truly addresses both the spiritual and material needs of their local communities.

Mr. Smith has been the Lead Project Manager and has been an integral part of Project Management Teams that have built over $600,000,000. Over the past thirty years. He has successfully completed large-scale projects with Morse Diesel International, Plaza Construction Inc. Durell Builders Inc., along with several other nationally recognized firms. Mr. Smith also worked as Lead Project Manager for McKissack & McKissack, the oldest minority-owned professional design and construction firm in the United States. Mr. Smith was also employed as Lead Project Officer with New York School Construction Authority, where he successfully completed several new schools in the Bronx.

Mr. Smith attended City College School of Architecture and is a member of the American Institute of Architects, and the Construction Management Association of America.

David Walsh
David Walsh joined JP Morgan Chase in 2011 as the Northeast Regional Manager of Community Development Banking and has overseen the origination of over $3 billion in financing resulting in the development or preservation of over 27,000 affordable and supportive housing units in the Northeast. Prior to joining JP Morgan Chase, Mr. Walsh served for three years as Senior Vice President of Multifamily Programs for New York State Homes & Community Renewal (“HCR”) where he oversaw the structuring and overall financing of approximately 10,000 units of affordable housing located throughout the State of New York. Prior to joining HCR, Mr. Walsh served as the Director of NYC Housing Development for Common Ground Community, a non-profit housing development organization specializing in housing for the homeless, overseeing the design and development of approximately 1,000 units of supportive housing in the metropolitan area.
Mr. Walsh received a Masters Degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation and an undergraduate degree from Western New England College.


About Friedman LLP Accountants & Advisors
Friedman LLP’s Affordable Housing Practice is committed to helping owners and developers find success in the financing, acquisition, building, operations and disposition of affordable housing units. We also maintain a dedicated Not-for-Profit Practice that is well-versed in the ever-changing assurance, regulatory and financial demands facing the industry. Our team’s diversity and experience provide exceptional representation for owners, developers, syndicators, lenders, managers and investors. Beyond our core services, we offer specialized assistance to Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects as well as HUD and State Agency Financed Programs, including cost certification, carryover allocations, taxable and tax-exempt bond deals, HUD audit and program compliance, and tax credit application assistance. For more information, visit

About Goldstein Hall PLLC
Goldstein Hall PLLC is a full service real estate law firm with a concentration in affordable housing and community development. Since our inception in 2006, we have been proud to continue to enhance our reputation as a smart, reputable, and responsive firm that believes our achievements are deeply rooted in the community and in your success. Our firm’s main Practice Areas are: affordable housing and community development; real estate; nonprofit formation and governance; cooperative and condominium law; litigation; banking and finance; commercial leasing; and corporate formation and governance. Our diverse staff of senior associates, associates, and counsels are committed to exceeding client expectations in a range of matters where skilled, creative legal representation is crucial. With extensive experience and personal approach in all our practice areas, our team works to anticipate our client’s needs and provide solutions that have helped our them to achieve their goals.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at