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Baltimore mayor gives interim housing commissioner permanent position

Mayor Brandon M. Scott Wednesday announced that Alice Kennedy, the city’s interim housing commissioner, will get the job on a permanent basis.

The position of Department of Housing and Community Development commissioner is a key one in the city, which has grappled for years with the problems of blight and housing affordability.

Scott said Kennedy will be charged with implementing his vision for equitable development and affordable, quality housing for city residents as well as modernizing the city’s permitting system.

“I’m pleased to announce the selection of our new housing commissioner, Alice Kennedy,” Scott said. “I’ve come to rely on her expertise, community relationships, and genuine commitment to bringing the best out of Baltimore’s neighborhoods. She has my full support and confidence to achieve my vision for a more equitable Baltimore.”

Kennedy joined BCHD in 2016 as deputy commissioner for homeownership and housing preservation. She has a background in community engagement, energy programs, legislative review and policy, political campaign strategy, real estate, and sustainability. As deputy commissioner, she oversaw the city’s Weatherization Program, Lead Hazard Reduction Program, Office of Rehabilitation Services, Office of Homeownership, Tax Sale Prevention Coordinator, Summer Food Program, Baltimore Energy Challenge, and Baltimore Energy Initiative.

Since serving as acting housing commissioner beginning in August of 2020, Kennedy helped to secure a recent million-dollar federal grant for lead paint reduction and led the agency in awarding a second round of Community Catalyst Grants to locally-based community organizations and awards for rental housing and Community Land Trusts homeownership opportunities.

Kennedy earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Goucher College.

In a news release, the mayor’s office said that Kennedy’s immediate priorities include hiring a full-time equity officer, expanding the agency’s reach to redress housing and community inequities and engaging new technology to re-engineer the permitting process.