The Department of Housing and Human Services, and its Director, will oversee FCAA, CDBG, and other community services.
The City of Frederick Charter and Position Schedule were amended last night at the Mayor & Board of Aldermen meeting. The Board of Aldermen approved Mayor Michael O’Connor’s vision for a new Department of Housing and Human Services and reimagined Director role with a unanimous vote.
As presented by Mayor O’Connor, to expand services and meet the growing needs of The City of Frederick, a central department that can proactively combine human and housing services is necessary. The approvals obtained last night were the first step in moving toward improved collaborative service delivery.
The new Department of Housing and Human Services will be broken into two sub-divisions: a human services division, which would include the Frederick Community Action Agency; and a housing services division, which would consist of the Community Development Block Grant program and other future housing services and programs. A Director of Housing and Human Services will lead this new department. This Director position is a reclassification of the existing Director of FCAA and was redesigned to drive the heightened level of service, policy, and evaluation needed under this new structure. The City’s Office of Human Resources conducted a position study that used best practices to grade and title the position appropriately based on the necessary qualifications and duties. The current FCAA Assistant Director positions and the CDBG Manager role will remain critical resources and functions under the new department.
“This new department and leadership role will allow for the expansion of services to the most vulnerable in our community, and that is what is most important. The critical work of FCAA will continue and we will prioritize the proactive and continuous evaluation of the effectiveness of our work concerning the continuum of services to our residents. I also know there is work to be done in the housing services and what programs and resources we can offer. This action creates the structure to make that possible,” shared Mayor Michael O’Connor.
A search committee for the Director of Housing and Human Services has been formed. They will work to finalize the search strategy and timeline, which will include opportunities for the community to provide input and comment. The City of Frederick will share more about this strategy and timeline once finalized.
To meet State law requirements, the Charter amendment will not go into effect for 50 days, allowing a period for residents to request a referendum.