City News

Mayor appoints new Director of Housing and Community Development, creates Homeless Services Liaison position

Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the hiring of a new Director of Housing and Community Development as well as the appointment of a Homeless Services Liaison for the City of Richmond.

Longtime affordable housing and community development professional Sherrill Hampton will serve as Director of Housing and Community Development. 

Dianne Wilmore, the Community Service Manager at the North Avenue Branch of the Richmond Public Library, will assume the role of Homeless Services Liaison.

“Affordable housing and homelessness are two of the most critical issues facing American cities, and the City of Richmond is no exception,” said Mayor Stoney. “The need for experienced and caring individuals to address these issues has only been heightened by the pandemic, and that’s why I’m grateful to have two highly qualified public servants joining our team in this effort.”

Ms. Hampton has more than 25 years of experience in the affordable housing and community development arenas, and has worked in senior management roles in non-profit, governmental, and educational sectors. 

She holds a BS in Social Science from Claflin University and a JD from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

“As we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic facing an affordable housing crisis not seen before in the city, I am confident that Ms. Hampton’s experience in financing and real estate development along with community outreach and engagement is the right mix of knowledge and skill sets to lead us forward with the implementation of One Richmond: An Equitable Affordable Housing Plan,” said Sharon Ebert, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Economic Development.

In her role as Homeless Services Liaison, Ms. Wilmore will to streamline communication and manage the flow of information with the city administration and City Council with regard to homeless services in the region.

Ms. Wilmore is a former Case Manager for the Salvation Army Women’s Shelter in Cleveland and served as a Community Services and Outreach Manager in the East Cleveland Public Library system for 12 years. She is a graduate of the University of Akron.

In addition to her role as liaison, Ms. Wilmore will continue to serve as community service manager at the North Avenue branch, where she has served for seven years. She will report to Reggie Gordon, the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Human Services.

“In Diane, we have selected a talented city employee who will take on the additional responsibility of being the primary point person for questions and coordination regarding homeless services,” said Gordon. “Her passion for those in our community who are in a housing crisis will form the basis of a strong partnership with all stakeholders in the homeless services system.”

Council leadership was encouraged by the mayor’s moves to further solidify and coordinate the city’s response to the housing issue.

“These are two steps that our city needed to ensure that the work currently underway in affordable housing and homelessness services is an ongoing priority with the right leaders at the helm,” said Council President Cynthia Newbille. “I look forward to working with Ms. Hampton and Ms. Wilmore to secure support for Richmonders along the entire pipeline of need, from homeless services to transitional housing to permanent residence.”

“We need to be engaged and proactive as a city in our approach to helping our most vulnerable residents secure housing that is both affordable and sustainable,” said City Council Vice President Ellen Robertson. “Finding the right candidate to assume the Housing and Community Development Director role and dedicating a point person in our city to coordinate homelessness services and outreach with our local partners and regional caregivers will significantly improve our ability to make a difference in the community.”