Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced that Cimone Jordan has been named Director of Housing and Neighborhood Planning and Elyzabeth Wengert Director of Neighborhood Grant Programming and Compliance.
As director of housing and neighborhood development, Jordan will take on a number of roles in housing development strategy and planning, analysis and management of funding for redevelopment projects, real estate and redevelopment activities for the Syracuse Urban Renewal Agency (SURA) and coordination of the tax foreclosure process.
Jordan plays a critical role in advancing housing and community development investments within Syracuse neighborhoods by managing planning strategy for residential investments, and by coordinating a variety of property disposition, strategic enforcement and community engagement initiatives to promote neighborhood stability. In addition, Jordan will collect and analyze data as it relates to property tax foreclosure cases, make recommendations for foreclosed properties, collaborate with the Land Bank to identify priority redevelopment cases, respond to constituent questions and present legislation to the Common Council.
Namely, Jordan will also oversee the infill planning under the Resurgent Neighborhood Initiative (RNI) and manage implementation of the RNI strategy. In addition, she serves as the program manager for the Community Ambassador program, and will engage citizens and stakeholders in identifying key problem properties, and she participates in task force meetings including the Vacant Property Initiative and Lead Working Group.
In her previous role, Jordan worked as a Planner in the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development. In this role, she worked in conjunction with City of Syracuse Law Department and Code Enforcement to conduct outreach to vacant property servicers and lienholders to encourage compliance with the Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act of 2016. She also served as the Southside Planner through RNI, and regularly engaged with community groups to relay department updates and answer questions.
Jordan received her BA in Environmental Studies from Hamilton College.
Wengert is responsible for securing and managing a diverse portfolio of federal, state and private sector grants to support safe and affordable housing and neighborhood development. As director of neighborhood grant planning and compliance, she will also work with other Department leaders to align grant strategies and programs with the Department’s priorities for neighborhood and economic development and inclusive growth.
Wengert previously held several roles in academic administration and higher education with proved success in grant writing, community engagement and strategic planning. She has also led several diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, developing her skills as a dynamic leader who is well-connected with the community.
In her role as Director, Wengert will manage and secure grant and funding opportunities from not-for-profit organizations and other government partners, support planning and reporting on all grant processes, evaluate program performance, and develop strategies and recommendations for sub-awards to local partner agencies.
Wengert graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with her B.A. in Psychology and African American Studies and her M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She is also a member of several professional organizations including the Association for Equality and Excellence in Education, the American Association for Higher Education and the Association for the Study of Higher Education.