John L. Kelly

John Kelly represents for-profit and nonprofit owners and operators of multi-family housing that has a government overlay. He has more than 30 years of experience in affordable housing and is a longtime advocate at state and national levels.

What do you focus on?

My practice focus is on three primary areas:


I have represented clients in the purchase and sale of government-assisted housing. Recently I helped a major New York City developer acquire a state-regulated 1,600-unit property using tax credits, bonds, city and state subsidies and real estate tax exemptions.


I have assisted clients in the financing of existing properties and the construction of new projects. Recently I represented a developer in financing the construction of a 176-unit project on a ground lease from the City of New York with bonds, tax credits, letter of credit, redirected Medicare funds and other public subsidies.

Regulatory approvals

I assist clients in navigating the plethora of regulations in the affordable housing industry.

I am presently assisting a client obtain the city and state approvals required to move a 318-unit project from a state-regulated program, which limited the owners’ return, to a city regulated program, which is substantially less restrictive.

What do you see on the horizon?

I am watching the collision of the rising local awareness of the need for affordable housing and gridlock in Congress. Federal resources are shrinking, so local governments will have to create new strategies.


  • “New York State/New York City Housing Officials,” Institute for Responsible Housing Preservation: Affordable Housing Preservation Symposium, New York, NY, January 22, 2020 (moderator)


    John L. Kelly

    Senior Counsel

    New York

    Phone: 212-940-3790

    Fax: 866-743-1161

    University of Connecticut School of Law, J.D., with honors

    Ithaca College, B.A.

    New York

    John was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 in the field of Real Estate Law. John has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2017.

    John has long been active in his field and has lectured and participated in numerous forums and panels on affordable housing issues. He served as president of the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association from 2003–2005, and is vice chair of the New York Housing Conference, Executive Committee member of the National Housing Conference, director of the New York City Housing Partnership Development Corporation, and member of New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Neighborhood Investment Advisory Panel. He is also a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and has served on its Housing and Urban Development Committee.

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