Steven Love, a longtime PHADA member and well respected housing advocate in New York City and Washington, passed away last month as a result of lingering health problems. Love was 75 years old and was living on Long Island with his family at the time of his death.
A native New Yorker and lawyer by background, Love started his career at HUD in the early 1970s where he served as Regional Counsel for Litigation. He also worked as an aide to Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-NY) and became the Director of Federal Relations for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) in the late 1980s. He served at NYCHA for more than 30 years.
Paul Graziano, who served as General Manager and worked with Love for 8 years, spoke fondly of Love: “Steve navigated the labyrinthine network of city, state and federal lawmakers, analysts and administrators. He served a diverse group of mayors, including the first African American, David Dinkins, and Rudolph Giuliani. Through the decades of tumult, he never lost focus and served the hundreds of thousands of residents with dignity, grace and professionalism. He was also a humble man of faith and family. Attending his daughter’s wedding, I saw a loving and proud father, a man who will be missed by many.”
Lisa Diaz, longtime friend and NYCHA colleague.
I first met Steve when I joined him at NYCHA. We worked side by side for the well being of Housing Authorities, the industry and the residents that they serve for fifteen years; through the Harvard Cost Study, Stop Loss, AFFH, Section 8 formulas, ARRA (stimulus) and the various sequesters. I never encountered anyone who could match him for his knowledge of the intricacies of statutory and regulatory language, nor anyone more tenacious or fierce in advocacy. Nothing gave him greater satisfaction than when he saw a defect or opportunity in the appropriations bill, could explain it to others, join together and press Washington for a good outcome. He loved providing technical assistance to Housing Authorities in New York State and across the country. He was a teacher by temperament and remained accessible to staff and residents in all matters. His accomplishments and impact are immeasurable. I shall miss riding shotgun with him!
Love was widely known and highly regarded in industry circles. In 2015, the New York State Public Housing Directors Association honored him with the association’s “Housing Champion Award.”
In addition to being a staunch advocate for NYCHA, Love frequently collaborated with PHADA and industry organizations on housing legislation and HUD regulations. “Steve was an invaluable resource to our industry and was highly respected by lawmakers and congressional staff on both sides of the aisle,” said PHADA Executive Director Tim Kaiser. PHADA’s Director said he was happy to call Love a friend, remembering they often compared notes about the Fresh Meadows, NY, neighborhood where they both had close family members.
“Steve and NYCHA were like a fourth public housing advocacy group unto themselves. He was always well-informed, professional, cooperative and friendly,” said Ted Van Dyke, a retired PHADA Policy Analyst who often worked with Love. “It was both a learning experience and a pleasure to work with him. He made a real contribution to public housing in America.”
Steve Love’s many contributions to public and assisted housing will be long remembered. PHADA conveys its most sincere condolences to his family and friends.