James Arthur Jemison
Former Deputy Undersecretary, Department of Housing & Community Development, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Recipient of the Rep. Byron Rushing Commitment to Housing Award
MHSA worked with Mr. Jemison when he served as Deputy Undersecretary and Deputy Director for the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under Governor Deval Patrick. Prior to that, Mr. Jemison held a variety of public- and private-sector positions, all related to city planning and urban development, primarily in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. Locally, this includes his role in the Office of Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development in the District of Columbia, as the City recovered from Control Board management during the first term of Mayor Anthony Williams.
In early 2014, he was recruited by Mayor Duggan to be the Director of the Housing & Revitalization Department for the City of Detroit to assist as the City recovered from bankruptcy. In that capacity, Mr. Jemison led strategy, deployment and management of the City’s housing policy and U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) entitlement funding.
He was later promoted by the Mayor to Group Executive for Planning, Housing & Development, leading the City’s efforts toward equitable growth, working in partnership with Directors of the Housing & Revitalization Department, the Planning & Development Department, the Detroit Land Bank Authority, Detroit Housing Commission, and the Bridging Neighborhoods program.
In 2021, Mr. Jemison was appointed by the Biden Administration to be the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Washington, DC.