The City of Rockville has merged several divisions to form a new Department of Housing and Community Development, which will more efficiently and effectively address the affordable housing and social services needs of city residents.

The Mayor and Council approved the structure of the new department at their Monday, June 22 meeting. It will be led by Asmara Habte, previously the chief of housing programs.

The department brings together the city’s divisions of community services, housing, and human rights and mediation into an organizational structure that resembles other successful housing and community development departments throughout the country. The framework for the department is centered around assisting current and future Rockville residents through strategic planning, policy and supportive services.

The reorganization comes at no additional cost to taxpayers.

“This organizational realignment will help the city respond in a more coordinated, seamless, and effective manner by building on the city’s existing infrastructure and talented and dedicated staff,” the staff report accompanying the briefing to the Mayor and Council states.

To watch the Mayor and Council’s meeting and to read the staff report, visit