Asmara G. Habte serves as the director of the recently formed Department of Housing and Community Development for the City of Rockville. We asked her a few questions about her role to introduce her to the Rockville community.
Tell us a little about your role with DHCD.
As director, I oversee 14 employees and 12 program areas that seek to preserve and produce housing opportunities and deliver supportive services for Rockville residents.
What did you do before that?
I was hired in 2016 as the city’s chief of housing programs, and held the position until the creation of DHCD in 2020, when I was asked by City Manager Rob DiSpirito to serve as its director.
Since 2016, I’ve led implementation of the Rockville Mayor and Council’s affordable housing policy initiatives and priorities, and delivered resident and community services programming.
With a housing and community development career that spans over 20 years, my experience includes affordable housing development and finance, program design, resident services, public policy, and organizational management.
Prior to coming to Rockville, I served for nine years as a development project manager and consultant with the District of Columbia Housing Authority, where I managed nearly $200 million in federal, local and private funds that contributed to the production of over 800 mixed-finance and mixed-income housing units.
What else can you tell us about yourself?
I recently served as co-chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Housing Directors Advisory Committee. I am representing the City of Rockville as a commissioner on the Interagency Commission on Homelessness, a commission that brings together local nonprofit housing and social services providers, municipalities and county agencies to discuss and advance policy initiatives, and exchange program ideas and best practices. I also represent the city on the Montgomery County Fair Housing Committee as a board member.
I hold a bachelor’s degree in urban affairs and political science and a master’s in urban and regional planning. I live in Montgomery County.
Learn more about the services provided by the DHCD at www.rockvillemd.gov/369/Community-Assistance.