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Duggan promotes housing chief in reorganization

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News
Arthur Jemison, center, director of Housing & Revitalization, is seen in 2017.

Detroit — The city on Wednesday announced a reorganization of Mayor Mike Duggan's administration aimed at improving services and coordination between departments. 

Under the changes, Housing & Revitalization Department Director Arthur Jemison takes on a newly-created post of Chief of Services and Infrastructure. 

Jemison will have direct oversight of the city's health, fire, housing and building departments, each of which will continue to have individual department heads running day-to-day operations, the city said. 

Jemison, who will maintain his annual $184,400 salary, will oversee infrastructure-based departments and agencies as well, including the city's General Services and Public Lighting departments, City Airport and the Office of Sustainability.

Duggan, in a statement, praised Jemison for his work developing inclusive housing and neighborhood redevelopment strategies since joining the city in 2014.

“He’s a great leader and team builder who understands how all of the departments under his authority will need to work together to deliver better services to residents. I’m thrilled to have Arthur in this new role," Duggan said. 

Jemison, officials said, will be tasked with leading the city’s efforts to coordinate with independent agencies, including the Detroit Land Bank Authority, Detroit Housing Commission, Public Lighting Authority and Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Authority, and will lead coordination of Department of Neighborhoods and planning and economic development activities.   

His work leading the city's Affordable Housing Leverage Fund, an effort rolled out in March to establish a $250 million fund to preserve and develop affordable housing units, will also continue. 

As housing director, Jemison has worked with developers to create more than 1,500 affordable housing units in Detroit and led development of low-income housing strategies and efforts to address homelessness.

"... I was proud to participate in the mayor’s mandate to build an inclusive Detroit and have had an outstanding team to work with,” Jemison said.  “I am honored that the mayor has asked me to expand on that work in this new role and excited to get to work providing better services and more opportunities for Detroiters."

The promotion for Jemison comes after he was briefly tapped last fall to head the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. Jemison, who was slated to become the nonprofit's CEO in December, ultimately declined the job after it was discovered that a provision of the city charter disqualified him from accepting the position.

The city on Wednesday also announced that General Services Director Brad Dick is taking on a new role as group executive of infrastructure, with more direct oversight of daily operations of the departments. His pay will go from about $135,000 to $155,000.

Donald Rencher, Jemison's executive manager in the housing office, will be nominated to replace Jemison, officials said. The move will boost Rencher's salary to $147,000, from his current $139,000 per year, the city said.