Howard County Executive Proposes Changes to County Offices

Reorganization pending for Howard County Department of Citizen Services, Housing Commission, and Department of Housing and Community Development.

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman is proposing changes to several county offices based on recommendations from a report generated by his transition team in March. Major changes include the separation of the Housing Commission from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

As reported in The Baltimore Sun:

Michael Davis, head of Kittleman’s transition team, responded positively to the changes, saying detaching the commission from the department would reduce potential conflicts of interest between the two entities and allow the commission to explore more creative housing opportunities.

Thirty of the 38 employees in the housing department work for the commission on a part-time or full-time basis, according to Davis.

“Housing projects developed by the commission or in which the commission may be involved are criticized as being government-funded projects when in fact, they are commission projects,” according to a joint task report by the Department of Citizen Services and the Department of Housing and Community Development.

The remaining eight employees under the commission would be absorbed into a new office within the county’s Department of Citizen Services, which is the county’s human service agency. The office would handle grants management, housing opportunities, homeless services and community partnerships.

The plan would also transfer the housing department’s statutory programs to the Department of Citizen Services, a move Kittleman says will better meet the needs of low- and moderate-income families and ensure a “no wrong door” approach is implemented. “No wrong door” is a philosophy in human services that encourages service providers to address people’s needs and provide access to information above and beyond why the person initially contacted the service provider.

The proposed changes are expected to go before the County Council in January.

For more information read the full article in The Baltimore Sun.