Commissioner, Baltimore Housing
In his 30+ years of experience with Baltimore City—as a prosecutor, as Director of Code Enforcement’s legal team, as Deputy Commissioner of Permits and Code Enforcement, and now as Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Community Development—Michael has played a key role in innovating new approaches to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. As Deputy Commissioner, he oversaw a division accounting for almost 2/3 of the staff and 99% of the general revenue collected for DHCD. In that role, he reengineered cleaning, boarding, and housing code enforcement operations, reducing response times while increasing service outputs. He was also a key architect of the Vacants to Value program, leading its innovative receivership and strategic demolition programs; and an essential collaborator on Project CORE, which is providing unprecedented funding for blight removal and community greening in Baltimore.
Michael’s focus on efficiency, transparency, and accountability has resulted in savings to the City, and better service for its citizens. As Deputy Commissioner, he helped design and deliver on innovations including: a dedicated Special Investigations Unit which identifies and locates illegal dumpers in Baltimore and helps prosecute them for their crimes; the City’s receivership program, a nationally-recognized best practice which helps transfer derelict vacant properties from unresponsive owners to capitalized developers who can rehabilitate and reoccupy them; and a suite of enterprise applications that work to collect information from 311, manage housing and building inspections, issue notices and citations to violators, and ensure responsiveness and follow up on citizen complaints.
Michael is known nationally for his expertise in well-managed, data-driven government, and has been asked to share his work with organizations including the Center for Community Progress, the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors, the Clinton Global Initiative, and a host of cities across the country. He is known locally for forging partnerships across City and State agencies, and building relationships with community residents and leaders, private and non- profit investors, anchor institutions, and others to achieve big picture goals. As Commissioner, Michael is helping to implement a comprehensive community development framework to support the Mayor’s new era of neighborhood investment; utilizing new tools, like the Community Catalyst Grants Program, to support locally driven community development work.
Michael holds a J.D. from the City University of New York and a B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University. He currently lives in Baltimore with his wife, an education and early childhood consultant, and his two children.