City Hall

McGinn to Meet With Advocates about Future of Housing Office

By Erica C. Barnett February 8, 2010

In a letter earlier this month, City Council members Sally Clark and Nick Licata asked Mayor Mike McGinn to set up a formal selection committee to choose the replacements for the outgoing directors of the city's Office of Housing, Adrienne Quinn, and Human Services Department, Alan Painter. (Painter was shown the door in December; Quinn announced her resignation last month.)

McGinn has announced several high-level appointments without doing any formal public process, including his transportation director budget director, chief of staff, and Office of Intergovernmental Relations director.

McGinn spokesman Mark Matassa wouldn't say whether the mayor planned to convene a formal search committee, saying only that McGinn would be "meeting with housing advocates and providers and council members to talk about the larger question of how we provide housing."

Nor would Matassa confirm or deny a persistent story among housing advocates that the mayor planned to consolidate the Office of Housing into another city department, such as Human Services, saying only that the upcoming meetings would provide a "10,000-foot flyover [view] of how we provide housing in the city." Anna Markee, Seattle outreach director for the Housing Development Consortium, says McGinn's office hasn't talked to her organization about the future of OH, adding, "obviously, it's a perennial concern."
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