Governor McKee announces Housing and Commerce appointments

Gov. Dan McKee is seen at a press conference. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Governor Dan McKee has announced that Josh Saal has been appointed to be the Deputy Secretary of Commerce  to oversee a project for affordable housing. McKee also announced Hannah Moore as Assistant Secretary of Commerce so she may coordinate and develop federal grant opportunities for economic development.

“The McKee Administration is committed to addressing Rhode Island’s housing challenges. The appointment of a strong, skilled Deputy Secretary of Commerce for Housing like Josh Saal is a sign of that commitment and a positive step forward,” said Governor McKee. “I welcome Josh back to Rhode Island. I know he is ready to hit the ground running on day one and I look forward to working with him. Thank you to the Speaker and Senate President for prioritizing housing last legislative session and creating this crucial position for the future of housing in Rhode Island.”

“I congratulate Hannah Moore on earning the new role of Assistant Secretary of Commerce. Hannah is a hard worker and effective leader who has been key in developing and executing our economic agenda. I am confident that she will excel in this new position,” said Governor McKee.
“It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the first Deputy Secretary of Commerce for Housing,” said Josh Saal. “I am grateful to Governor McKee, Lieutenant Governor Matos, Speaker Shekarchi, Senate President Ruggiero, and Secretary Pryor for recognizing the importance that housing plays in creating a stronger, more equitable future for Rhode Islanders. I look forward to working with municipalities, non-profits, advocacy groups and the wider development community to ensure that all Rhode Islanders can grow and thrive in their communities.”
“Rhode Island has a key opportunity to continue its economic recovery with strength. I will work hard to help expand opportunities for Rhode Island residents and businesses, too many of which continue to face significant challenges,” said Hannah Moore. “Thank you, Governor McKee and Secretary Pryor for the opportunity to advance this important work.”
“I am delighted to welcome Josh Saal as the Deputy Secretary of Commerce for Housing for Rhode Island Commerce,” said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. “Josh’s experience, leadership, knowledge, and partnership will propel Rhode Island as a leader in the production of housing at all income levels.”
“I had the pleasure of interviewing Josh during this process and I was tremendously impressed with his knowledge and experience, while his Rhode Island roots will help him to hit the ground running,” said House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi. “I look forward to working with him as we develop and implement a coordinated housing policy for our state. Housing remains a top focus for myself and the House of Representatives.”
“All Rhode Islanders deserve safe, warm homes, and we can’t grow our economy if the workforce can’t afford housing,” said Senate President Dominick J. Ruggeiro. “We made historic progress on housing in the past 12 months, passing a $65 million bond and creating our first-ever dedicated funding stream, establishing supportive housing programs, and more. Having a dedicated individual focused solely on housing issues at the CommerceRI is another important step as we continue to address our housing crisis.”
“Housing is a priority for the McKee Administration and General Assembly leadership. Combined with the new staffing resources in the Governor’s down payment package, this position will give the state’s multi-agency housing team more capacity and will enable greater coordination across offices and divisions,” said Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. “As a truly talented housing professional, Josh will help to advance our state’s work in this area. We thank Speaker Shekarchi and Senate President Ruggerio for creating this position. We welcome Josh back to Rhode Island and thank him for contributing his insight, leadership, and energy to our efforts.”
“We also congratulate Hannah on her designation as Assistant Secretary,” said Secretary Pryor. “Hannah’s skill and dedication are truly exemplary. We’re grateful that Hannah continues to guide our commerce-related work as we gear up to implement the multiple federally-funded programs in the Governor’s down payment package. This designation is recognition of Hannah’s key role in our ongoing and emerging activities.”
“Since taking office, my number one priority has been focused on addressing our housing crisis in Central Falls exacerbated by this pandemic, and increasing our affordable housing stock,” said Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera. “Rhode Island’s Deputy Secretary of Commerce for Housing presents an important pathway for communities like mine to work with the state around our most pressing housing challenges. Josh Saal has demonstrated his leadership in housing, and his readiness to tackle Rhode Island’s housing needs, including community efforts. I look forward to working with him to support the residents of Central Falls.”
Categories: News, Politics, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island