Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade hires new housing director

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez hired a new department director on Wednesday to oversee public housing and community development.

Michael Liu, who served as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under President George W. Bush, will join the county Sept. 2. He will replace Gregg Fortner, who left the county in July for the top housing job in New Orleans.

“Michael Liu brings a wealth of experience to the position of Director with more than 25 years of being actively engaged in transforming communities at the local, state and national levels,” Gimenez said in a statement. “He will continue to focus on providing affordable housing options for Miami-Dade County.”

Liu’s annual salary will be $210,500, according to Gimenez’s office. Fortner had been making $216,000 a year.

Liu, of Hawaii, headed the federal government’s division of public and Indian housing from 2001 to 2005. That division managed subsidized Section 8 housing. Miami-Dade, the nation’s sixth-largest housing agency, provides Section 8 payments to more than 16,000 families, among other things.

For the past nine years, Liu, an attorney by training, has been senior vice-president for Grayling, a large government and public affairs firm.