Staff Bios

Andrew Reicher joined UHAB in 1978 as Director of Technical Assistance & Research and has served as Executive Director since 1981. Under his leadership, UHAB's base of resident-run and resident-owned HDFC co-ops has grown from several dozen to more than 1,600 buildings in New York City. UHAB’s self-help approach has expanded from a single focus on housing cooperatives to include tenant associations struggling to preserve their affordable housing in the face of gentrification and expiring use restrictions.

Director of Operations since 2013, Anya Irons began working at UHAB in 2007. She also serves as General Counsel (UHAB’s sole in-house attorney) and Director of Co-op Development, overseeing the rehabilitation and co-op conversion of UHAB's development pipeline. With legal matters an integral part of preserving the affordable co-ops created by UHAB, she helps ensure the survival of this unique form of homeownership and fields issues on co-op management and interest inheritance. Anya’s other legal specialties include elder law and wills, trusts, and estates. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and New York Law School.

Brent Sharman
came to UHAB in 2005 and serves as Director of Management & Organizational Development. Brent began his career as a community organizer and teacher, and served for five years at the New York City Commission on Human Rights. He first became involved with housing cooperatives and tenant-managed buildings while working for Interfaith Adopt-A-Building in 1979. Prior to joining UHAB, Brent had been a staff member of the Community Service Society for more than 15 years, working on various housing development projects that emphasized resident participation and ownership.

Director of New Co-op Development, Celeste Hornbach joined UHAB in 2015 as a Project Associate in the Co-op Preservation department. In that role she assisted UHAB-developed cooperatives in budget preparation and all other aspects of technical assistance that keep HDFCs healthy and well-functioning. She now helps ensure the successful co-op conversion of buildings in UHAB's development pipeline. In addition, she continually seeks innovative ways to create resident-controlled affordable housing in New York City. A graduate of the University of Rochester, Celeste received her Masters of Urban Planning from New York University.

Oscar McDonald
was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He studied Political Science at Pace University and received his Juris Doctorate from New York Law School. Oscar Joined UHAB in 1994 as a Field Services Supervisor after working in affordable housing in South East Washington, DC, for the previous four years. He has served as UHAB’s Director of TIL/HDFC Training & Technical Assistance since 1996. Under his guidance and with a staff ranging from eight to 12 project associates at any given time, his team has provided more than 100,000 human-hours of housing management and maintenance guidance to tenants, boards of directors, and other shareholders.

After many years of experience in community development and affordable housing in Chile and in social service and organizing in Costa Rica, Fernando Alarcon began working at UHAB in 1982. He is currently Director of Co-op Preservation, where he is responsible for managing and overseeing the monitoring, financing, and rehabilitation of distressed buildings. Fernando has a Masters in Urban Planning and is fluent in Spanish and English. He is skilled in housing finance and all aspects of building construction and renovation.

Marina Metalios
has been active almost 30 years in the New York City tenant and housing justice movement. She is an original and current board member of TenantPAC, a former board member of NYS Tenants + Neighbors Coalition, and an active leader in her own Stuyvesant Town Peter Cooper Tenant Association. Since 1994, she has been employed at UHAB, helping to turn slumlord-owned buildings into low-income co-ops in New York. Now UHAB’s Director of Training & Special Projects, Marina has also been a Project Manager, coordinating the financing and rehabilitation of buildings in cooperative conversions, and head of the Organizing Department at UHAB.

Emily Ng, with UHAB since 2004, is the Director of Member Services. She works closely with both member and non-member affordable co-op buildings in New York City, engaging with residents through educational outreach and quality cost-saving programs to support low-income housing cooperatives.

Originally from Ecuador, Carolina Prado, UHAB’s Director of Finance & Administration, has a BA in Finance and International Relations and an MBA. She has served as a finance professional for more than 15 years, in fields including banking, construction development, and property management.