Pathways to Opportunity Graduation

8 min readJul 22, 2021

On July 22nd, HPD, Goldman Sachs, LISC, and Enterprise celebrated the first two graduating classes of Pathways to Opportunity, a free training program for Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) and non-profit firms interested in becoming affordable housing marketing agents for the City’s Housing Connect lotteries. Nearly 60 individuals across 34 firms have received the trainings. Meet some of our graduates:

ACJ International Realty LLC

ACJ International Realty LLC., founded in 2016, is a boutique real estate firm with an office located in Whitestone, Queens. ACJ serves all of New York City with a concentration in residential real estate in Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. The majority of its business is in sales and rentals. ACJ serves the community at large; however, through its involvement with various civic groups ACJ has strong connections with the Asian community.

Julie Huang, CEO; Vin Ho, Real Estate Salesperson; Anthony Tamboni, Real Estate Broker

“This opportunity helped my firm by expanding our knowledge of real estate marketing. We believe that this course allows us to better serve the rental community.”

Almagest Capital Partners

Almagest Capital Partners (ACP) was founded in 2019 by Jared Malavé to serve as an incubator for exciting and innovative business ventures. ACP provides advisory services, business know-how, network access, and financial capital to accelerate the growth and success of startup and early-stage companies. In late 2020, ACP recognized the increasing need for NYC to perform marketing activities on the growing number of affordable housing projects through the Housing Connect lottery process. In collaboration with Indroneel Dhar, licensed Real Estate Agent and Investor, ACP launched its Marketing Agent services under our Real Estate Services incubator.

Jared Malavé, Managing Principal and Indro Dhar, Principal

“The marketing agent training was a phenomenal learning experience for our firm. As a recent entrant into the marketing agent industry, the training provided our firm with the fundamental business know-how necessary to launch our business, (e.g. rules, regulations, best practices, etc.). In particular, the training helped us refine our internal operations and ensure we were properly allocating resources. The ongoing support such as these networking sessions will help ensure our success as we navigate the affordable housing universe. We look forward to the continued support and the resources provided through the collaboration of LISC, Goldman, HPD and others. Thank you!”

Micki Garcia Realty

Micki Garcia Realty (MGR) is a fee based MWBE City/State-certified real estate consulting firm specializing in real estate services. MGR’s strategic formulas and organizational framework provide clients with specific objectives in measurable time frames resulting in mutual success. Since its inception in 2001, MGR has provided exceptional real estate brokerage services with a culture centered around professionalism and community.

Malik Swinson, Vice President and Micki Garcia, President

“Our team at Micki Garcia Realty appreciates the added value the Agency helped us acquire via Pathways to Opportunity, thank you!”

SpringRock Property Group

SpringRock Property Group is a real estate development, property management, project management, and marketing agent firm that specializes in the management and development of mulit-family and mixed-use properties in NYC.

Donnell Selby, Managing Principal

“The marketing agent program was extremely informative. I am glad HPD has created programs like this to help educate those in the real estate industry”.

Urban Ecospaces, Inc.

Urban Ecospaces is a family-owned real estate development and construction firm. Its principals have decades of experience developing and building life-enhancing projects throughout New York City and surrounding areas. Urban Ecospaces develops its own projects and also collaborates with city and state agencies, non-profits, public-benefit corporations, and other partners on projects that deliver lasting value to communities. Its primary focus is developing and preserving affordable housing, revitalization of distressed and disaster-impacted housing, and upgrades to schools, transportation, and various community and human-service facilities and infrastructure. Urban Ecospaces is passionately committed to creating healthy environments, designing and building with climate-resilient features, green building technologies, and sustainability enhancements.​​

Everett Perry, President; Tamia Perry, Chief Executive Officer; Merle Bissoon, Director of Compliance

“The training program was an invaluable resource and will directly increase our access to capacity-building opportunities within the affordable housing industry. Our team is now well-equipped to effectively and efficiently navigate the intricacies involved with marketing affordable housing projects in New York. We are presently working on the development of 29 affordable new construction homes, and we are excited to put the marketing skills and tools that we have learned into practice on our current project.”

All Renovation Construction LLC

All Renovation Construction LLC is a certified MBE providing quality rough carpentry labor for commercial, institutional, and residential projects in New York City and New Jersey. All Renovation offers quality rough carpentry services for commercial and institutional projects and specializes in high-end Brownstone renovation projects for owners of luxury and landmark residential Brownstone properties. The All Renovation team are experts at a wide variety of projects throughout The Tri-State Area including Brownstone “gut” renovations, Condominium and Cooperative renovations, Penthouse, Lofts, Townhouses, Victorian homes and mansions.

Evelyn Suarez, CEO and Allan F. Suarez, COO

“We are extremely honored to have participated and completed HPD’s Marketing Agent Training in partnership with LISC and Enterprise. The free training will allow our Minority-Owned Business All Renovation Construction LLC to perform needed marketing activities for NYC affordable housing projects.”

Infinite Horizons, LLC

Infinite Horizons is a certified New York State and City Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Real Estate firm founded in 2007 by Roland and Randall Powell. Infinite Horizons’ mission is to transform vacant land, underutilized or distressed properties back into community assets with the goal of increasing and preserving the affordable housing stock while stabilizing the communities in which these properties are located. The intent is to create
quality housing options for all New Yorkers in desperate need of affordable housing.

Co-founders: Randall Powell, CEO and Roland Powell, Chief Operating Officer

“As a Minority Business Enterprise, these training courses were vital to increasing our capacity, sharpening our skills, and preparing us for a new opportunity that will help us expand our company and increase our business opportunities. We would like to thank the collaboration, support and time of all the members of team that brought us this programming like HPD, LISC, Enterprise and Goldman Sachs. The goal for this initiative to empower MWBE’s for this growing opportunity in the affordable housing industry came at the right time!”

JGV Management Corp

Since 1975, JGV Management Corporation has been a dominant force in New York City Real Estate, building a record of success and longevity in bleak and abandoned areas. In 1995, JGV Management Corporation (“JGV”) participated in a Private/Public partnership with the City of New York through the New York City Housing and Housing Preservation Development. JGV has devoted itself to creating a mixed-income housing portfolio and bringing forward the mission of quality that exceeds expectations. JGV’s devoted Team is doing the job right, building a presence in the area, and making a difference for people in real estate.

Norberto Velazquez, Chief Operating Officer; Georgina Natale, Director of LIHTC/HOME Compliance; Iris Cotto, Chief Financial Officer

“Our company philosophy is to develop and deliver the best to our community. Being part of this cohort goes with our mission to exceed expectations…The housing industry is always evolving therefore there is always something new to learn or update. The courses were able to highlight all the changes in the Housing Industry…and brought us all together in an insightful shared learning experience”

The South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation

The South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation’s (SoBro) mission is to enhance the quality of life in the South Bronx by strengthening businesses and creating innovative economic, housing, educational and career development programs for youth and adults. SoBRO’s programs include spurring economic development, building affordable housing, adult education, workforce development, helping at-risk youth to succeed, and producing other positive outcomes for South Bronx residents and employers.

Nicole Y. Sapp, Senior Compliance Officer and Shanaaz Mohammed, Compliance Officer (not pictured)

“I found participating in the NYC HPD Spring Cohort — Marketing Agent Training Program to be most beneficial in introducing me to the role of agent, utilizing the NYC Housing Connect platform. The opportunity to fortify my knowledge of LIHTC Compliance has been a great boon.

The in-depth Fair Housing & Reasonable Accommodations training gave greater clarity on the rules governing our evaluation of applicants, allowing us to render services within the appropriate legal parameters. The source-material provided will serve as excellent references. I have much gratitude for the opportunity to participate in these courses. Thank you”

The Ariel Group Realty Corp

The Ariel Group Realty Corp, a New York based full-service real estate brokerage company, handles sales, leasing, investment and asset management in commercial properties and luxury residential condos and townhouses. Its real estate services outreach extends throughout the tri-state area, Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. The Ariel Group Realty Corp provides effective property sales services targeting investors and end users in the Asian-American communities and in Asia.

Charlotte Cheung, Principal

“The program gave me an overview of LIH marketing; next step is to learn by experience.”




NYC HPD's mission is to promote the construction and preservation of affordable, high quality housing for families in thriving and diverse neighborhoods.