Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced the appointment of Michelle Sczpanski as Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhood Development in the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD). Sczpanski will be responsible for advancing and managing initiatives aimed at promoting safe, affordable, and stable housing and creating more vibrant, resilient neighborhoods. She will provide oversight and day-to-day supervision of the staff and activities in Neighborhood Planning, the Housing Stability program, the City’s Federal Grants Program and the Lead Hazard Reduction team.
“It has been clear since 2016 when Michelle first joined City Government that she cares deeply for our residents and our neighborhoods. She works diligently to use her skillset to reach every corner of Syracuse,” said Mayor Walsh. “Michelle’s expertise in neighborhood development, coupled with her passion to better Syracuse for the residents she serves makes her the right fit for this role.”
Sczpanski most recently served as the City’s Director of Housing and Neighborhood Planning. She managed implementation of $1.2 million of neighborhood-improving programs through the Cities RISE grant, which aims to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and equity of Code Enforcement operations, as well as the Zombie 2.0 grant, funded by the NYS Attorney General’s Office. As part of these programs, she led the creation of the City’s Community Ambassador Program, which employs residents to provide direct outreach and support to individuals experiencing housing issues. She also oversaw efforts to require banks and loan servicers to bring vacant properties into compliance.
Sczpanski has been instrumental in using data and mapping to paint a picture of ways to advance equitable housing work and community development investments city-wide through the Resurgent Neighborhood Initiative (RNI) and the Infill Development Plan. In addition, Sczpanski was crucial in identifying target locations for American Rescue Plan Act housing allocations, as well as the prioritization of Code Enforcement efforts as part of the HOME Unit.
Beyond her position as Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhood Development, Sczpanski also serves on the board of directors for the Near Westside Initiative. Sczpanski received Bachelors of Arts degrees in Policy Studies and Citizenship and Civic Engagement, as well as her Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.