Jolie Milstein is President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH), Executive Director of House New York Inc. and a Managing Member of Closing USA Affordable Housing, NYSAFAH’s joint venture title insurance company.
Jolie joined NYSAFAH from Praxis Housing, where she was responsible for creating the organization’s permanent supportive housing developments. Jolie’s background in economic development, business management, and finance includes tenure as Executive Director of the Ulster County Development Corporation, Senior Director for Economic Development at the New York City Partnership, Business Manager for Paperhouse Productions, and Commercial and Residential Mortgage Investment Banker at First Boston Corporation.
A licensed architect, Jolie holds a BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley, a Master of Architecture from UCLA and the Architecture Association and a Master of Public and Private Management from Yale University. She is also adjunct faculty at the Fordham University Real Estate Institute.
Elizabeth Rossi joined NYSAFAH in 2000 and serves as the organization’s Director of Operations. Previously, she was an Acquisitions Associate at First Sterling Financial in Manhasset, New York. Prior to that, Elizabeth was the financial director of a residential and commercial real estate appraisal firm – Piccoli Coyle & Associates – where she reviewed commercial appraisals for banks, attorneys, and mortgage companies for end valuation determination. Elizabeth has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance and Banking from Adelphi University where she finished her final year after her tenure at the State University of New York at Albany.
A graduate of Pratt Institute, James Lloyd has worked in New York land use since 2012. After a fellowship at the Pratt Center for Community Development and a year working as a planner at the M/WBE firm, Urbanomics, Inc., James joined the Land Use Division at the New York City Council in 2014. While at City Council James served as the project manager for the East New York and Inwood neighborhood rezonings. Additionally, he was part of the Council’s MIH/ZQA team and managed the review and approval of many individual land use applications, notably including One Flushing and the TWA Flight Center.
After the City Council, James led the Manhattan Borough President’s Land Use Division where he worked with the Department of City Planning and Council Member Margaret Chin’s office to launch and manage the SoHo/NoHo neighborhood planning process, which laid the foundation for the later rezoning of the area.
In addition to his planning work, James is also a serving naval officer and received his commission via Officer Candidate School in 2005. Notable assignments included two years on the staff of U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany; a year with a special operations joint task force in Africa and the Middle East; two years in Bahrain working on counter-piracy issues; and a deployment aboard USS Kearsarge that involved cyclone relief work in Bangladesh. James will be promoted to the rank of Commander before he receives a disability retirement from the Navy in the spring of 2022.
A native of Athens, Ohio, James is a 2003 graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, MN, where he received a B.A. in physics. James has also received an M.A. in geography from Ohio University and an M.S. in city and regional planning from Pratt Institute. James has several academics publications, including a monograph on the anti-redlining movement in Washington, DC.
In addition to land use and naval adventures, James has two rescue dogs and enjoys rugby, cycling, and motorsports.
Christopher Widelo is NYSAFAH’s Director of External Affairs. In this role he amplifies NYSAFAH’s advocacy by maintaining and deepening the organization’s relationships with lawmakers and key stakeholders. His work helps NYSAFAH advance important policies to create and preserve affordable housing at the city, state, and federal level during this critical time and housing crisis.
“We are proud to welcome Chris to NYSAFAH at a time when conveying the urgent need for affordable housing has become more important than ever,” said Jolie Milstein, president and CEO of NYSAFAH. “Chris will help us to advocate for smart policies and funding commitments required to build and preserve housing for low- and middle-income New Yorkers across the state.”
Previously Chris served as Associate State Director for Government Relations and Advocacy at AARP in their New York Office where he strengthened the organization’s mission in serving communities and advancing priorities on a state and national level.
Chris has served in a government and external affairs role for over 15 years, has extensive experience in federal lobbying, and a deep understanding of the state’s regulatory and budget processes. He received his Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and his Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Assumption College, also in Massachusetts.