ALBANY, NY – Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Department of Neighborhood and Community Services Commissioner Faye Andrews hosted an open house at The Neighborhood Center at 200 Henry Johnson Boulevard on Wednesday, April 26, 2023. This was an opportunity for residents, businesses, and community organizations alike to see the new and improved Neighborhood Center space at 200 Henry Johnson Boulevard and meet the new and existing Neighborhood & Community Services team members.
The Department of Neighborhood & Community Services opened on January 1, 2023, with the mission to provide residents, business owners, and other community partners with seamless access to City services and information while maintaining the highest level of customer service.
The Department’s neighborhood-focused approach to planning, community development, and code enforcement creates a true one-stop-shop to help continue to develop and enhance our vibrant neighborhoods to reflect the city’s diverse population. The Department’s functions include Planning & Development, Buildings & Regulatory Compliance (BRC), Neighborhood Services, and the Albany Community Development Agency (ACDA).
The new Neighborhood Services Department staff includes:
- Five Neighborhood Specialists assigned to specific regions of the City to assist in connecting residents, neighborhood associations, City based organizations and other stakeholders with services and information.
- A Community Relations Coordinator who manages non-emergency quality of life issue such as potholes, illegal garbage or property overgrowth via See Click Fix, and provides special assistance to the Neighborhood Specialists and residents as needed with these and other issues.
- A fully staffed customer service counter to assist with customers who walk in at the Neighborhood Center, Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm, as well as answering calls placed to 518-434-CITY Monday through Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm.
For more information on the Neighborhood Services Department please visit: https://www.albanyny.gov/2152/Neighborhood-and-Community-Services
The existing BRC, ACDA, and Planning and Development Departments continue to operate out of this space providing a variety of offerings to residents and others to receive assistance and resources to improve their homes, businesses, and neighborhoods. These Departments are also collaborating to connect people with available grants and services that may be available to them based on their needs.
Find more information on these departments via the links below.
Planning & Development: https://www.albanyny.gov/268/Planning-and-Development
Faye Andrews has served as the Director of the Albany Community Development Agency for more than 10 years. In that role, Faye was responsible for overseeing the distribution the City of Albany’s Community Program Development Funds, including Community Block Grants, CARES Act funding, and other vital grant funding resources designed to assist our historically underserved neighborhoods. Prior to that, Faye served as Commissioner of the Department of Youth and Workforce Services as well as Youth Services Coordinator. Faye holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Siena College and is a resident of Albany’s 13th Ward.
Prior to joining the City of Albany, Elissa Kane worked in New York State Assemblymember Patricia Fahy’s office for nearly 10 years, most recently as Chief of Staff. Elissa has also served as Interim Executive Director of The Dudley Observatory, Director of Development at the Albany Public Library, and Executive Director of the New York State Alliance for Arts Education. Elissa holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and women’s studies from SUNY University at Albany and is a resident of Albany’s 7th Ward.
Sarah Kampf has served in a variety of roles in the Mayor’s Office for more than 10 years, most recently as Special Projects Coordinator. Sarah also has years of experience as a Public Relations manager for a variety of clients and served as Senior Public Information Officer for the New York State Thruway Authority for more than four years as well as a Communications Assistant for the New York State Division of Budget. Sarah holds a bachelor's degree in Communications from The College of Saint Rose and is a resident of Albany’s 8th Ward.
Michael Foley, the new Director of the Albany Community Development Agency, has worked in ACDA for 20 years in various capacities. Michael’s extensive experience with ACDA includes serving as Housing Rehabilitation Manager, supervising ACDA’s Rehabilitation and Lead Hazard Reductions staff, working as a Rehab Specialist, Vacant Building Rehab Coordinator, and Environmental Rehab Manager.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “After many months of conceptualizing a space where we provide seamless access to City services and information and the highest levels of customer service, it is exciting to see this vision come to fruition at The Neighborhood Center. I commend Commissioner Andrews and her entire team in getting this new department and configuration of services to a place where we were ready to serve the public on January 1, 2023. The early positive feedback that we have already received is reaffirming, and under Faye’s leadership I look forward to seeing how we continue to collaborate and serve residents, businesses, and community organizations alike. I also want to thank our employees, Councilmembers, and neighborhood organizations for working collaborative with us to help create this framework.”
City of Albany Department of Neighborhood and Community Services Commissioner Faye Andrews said, “Our mission as a department is to build a stronger bridge between City government and all who live, visit and work in the City. I am looking forward to working together to achieve our goal to improve the quality of life in all of our neighborhoods.”
City of Albany Department of Neighborhood and Community Services Deputy Commissioner Elissa Kane said, “It’s an honor to work with so many committed city colleagues and community advocates on the development of this new Department of Neighborhood & Community Services which is designed to help all city residents’ access vital safety and quality of life services regardless of where they live. Here at 200 Henry Johnson Boulevard we have the departments that address city building codes and permits, land use and funding for community organizations as well as first time home buyers, and home repairs. Over-arching BRC, Planning, and Community Development is the city’s new customer service view that includes our Service Center where all neighbor’s questions can be navigated and our five Neighborhood Specialists who serve as liaisons between neighborhoods and city services. It’s an exciting time in our city and we’re eager to help!”
City of Albany Department of Neighborhood Services Director Sarah Kampf said, “The Neighborhood Services Department is comprised of an excellent team of community-minded people who are interested in connecting residents, business owners, and community stakeholders in the City of Albany with services and information. We are eager to assist in person via the customer service desk, by phone, by email, by See Click Fix, and by connecting people with one of the five Neighborhood Specialists who can address specific neighborhood issues.”
City of Albany Department of Building and Regulatory Compliance Director Rick LaJoy said, “Mayor Sheehan’s vision of creating this department model is already producing tangible results. The ability to work hand-in-hand with each department has increased our ability to help residents and to improve the quality-of-life issues our City faces. This model allows us to better serve the community, ensure every voice is heard and every concern is addressed. We are leading the way on how purposeful public service is done.”
City of Albany Community Development Agency Director Michael Foley said, “ACDA serves the constituents of the City of Albany through our various grant opportunities. Our dedicated team is excited to work under the umbrella of the Department of Neighborhoods and Community Services. Working cooperatively to foster strong partnerships, with common visions and goals, will enhance the great work that continues to occur throughout the City of Albany.”
City of Albany Department of Planning and Development Director Bradley Glass said, “The Planning and Development Staff are enjoying working with our new colleagues in the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. City residents are well-served by their passion, enthusiasm and dedication to problem-solving. By acting as a conduit of information between our staff and members of the community, these positions will help us better understand the community’s immediate needs and develop our policy goals and objectives accordingly. I appreciate the willingness of Mayor Sheehan and her team to continue to pursue and implement creative ideas in service of making our municipal government operate more efficiently.”