Mayor Scott Appoints Alice Kennedy Housing Commissioner

Mayor Brandon M. Scott is announcing the appointment of longtime Baltimore City public servant and housing policy expert Alice Kennedy to lead the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as permanent Commissioner and chief executive. Kennedy, who previously served as the Acting Commissioner for DHCD, will transition to her new position effective immediately.

She will be tasked with implementing Mayor Scott’s vision for equitable development and affordable, quality housing for city residents, as well as reforming and modernizing the City’s permitting system.

“I’m pleased to announce the selection of our new housing commissioner, Alice Kennedy,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “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.”

Alice Kennedy joined the Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development in 2016 as Deputy Commissioner for Homeownership and Housing Preservation. She has led the Agency with a high level of transparency, customer engagement, and a focus on community outreach and customer service. Kennedy has a background in community engagement, energy programs, legislative review and policy, political campaign strategy, real estate, and sustainability. As Deputy Commissioner, she focused on innovative solutions to help residents and best practices to coordinate and deliver services. Additionally, 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 has charted a course for innovation and modernization of the Agency's internal processes, including platforms that will improve the customer experience and efficacy of the City's disposition of property assets. She continues to advance the City's important work on lead hazard reduction, helping to secure a recent million-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Working in partnership with many community organizations, she helped leverage significant funding for the Housing Upgrades to Benefit Seniors program. In addition, she 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, bringing more than $20 million to the marketplace. The Agency's Five-Year Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plan were also completed under her tenure.

“I'm filled with gratitude for being named the Housing Commissioner of Baltimore City. I thank Mayor Scott and his leadership team for selecting me for this critical post,” said new DHCD Commissioner Alice Kennedy. “I am prepared to lead and transform this Agency, working with the Mayor's team to deliver superior service for residents and businesses. We will maximize the opportunity to transform our unique Baltimore neighborhoods equitably and provide our residents with quality housing and neighborhood amenities while working to retain and grow our population. "I look forward to working with my terrific DHCD team to achieve these goals and to build on the achievements of this Administration.”

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

“Commissioner Kennedy emerged as the strongest candidate from a compelling field of local and national candidates. In the five months that I’ve worked with Commissioner Kennedy, she has impressed me with her commitment to community, executive collaboration and execution, and openness to new ideas,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Ted Carter. “I look forward to partnering with her to advance the Mayor's pillar goal of equitable neighborhood development as well as making DHCD a world class community development and housing organization.”

Immediate priorities for Kennedy include hiring a full-time equity officer, expanding the Agency's reach to redress housing and community inequities. She will also engage new technology to re-engineer the permitting process, and work with staff to more nimbly advance the many community projects that are in DHCD’s pipeline. Kennedy wants to bring greater focus to the critical intersection of health and housing, embracing strategies that will help reduce displacement, ignite revitalization, and prevent further blight.

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