(HARRISBURG) – A familiar face is back in the halls of the Martin Luther King Jr. City Government Center. Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams is naming Gloria Martin-Roberts interim director of the Department of Building and Housing Development.

Martin-Roberts is one of the City of Harrisburg’s most respected leaders. She is a two-term city councilor, from 2003-2011. Her second term she served as City Council President, preceeding Mayor Williams’ 12-year Council President stint. She is currently the board chair of Impact Harrisburg, the non-profit created to boost economic development opportunities within the city. In her role with Impact Harrisburg, Martin-Roberts has overseen the application and distribution of grant funding to help spur business growth.

As Interim Director for Housing and Economic Development, Martin-Roberts’ primary responsibilities will be to oversee the rollout of American Rescue Plan funding, specifically in the areas of home repairs and affordable housing.

“Mayor [Williams] called me and said ‘I need someone who knows government who can come in and start running,'” Martin-Roberts said. “This is a significant area where we need to get money on the street, in the hands of taxpayers who need it. She came to me because of my professional expertise and trust, and that she knows I didn’t need a learning curve.”

Gloria Martin-Roberts was raised in both the Uptown and Allison Hill neighborhoods of the city. She graduated from John Harris High School, then earning a Master’s Degree at Lincoln University. Prior to her time on City Council, she spent 28 years in state government overseeing public health programs. During her time at the Office of Drug and Alcohol Programs, her bureau was regularly involved with grant requests, contracts, RFPs, and other mechanisms which served to get money into the hands of community members.

She also was Chief Operating Officer for Hamilton Health.

“Gloria has the experience, skillset, and institutional knowledge to take this extremely important job and hit the ground running,” Mayor Williams said. “I look forward to having her continue the tremendous work started by [former director] Dennise Hill and helping to oversee an extremely important chapter in our city’s history.”

The Department of Building and Housing is currently overseeing the two major initiatives made possible by American Rescue Plan funding. Around $5 million in ARPA funds will go towards home repair for low-income city residents. Around $8 million will be used for affordable housing development in the city.

While Martin-Roberts is in the director’s position on an interim basis, she did indicate she will serve as long as Mayor Williams needs her.

“This area is so critical to the livelihood and progress of the city that we need to keep things moving, and show the people that we are going to be responsive of their needs,” said Martin-Roberts.