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McKee appoints Rhode Island’s new housing secretary

Josh Saal is an urban planner and affordable housing specialist who started his career as a volunteer with the Housing Action Coalition of Rhode Island.

PROVIDENCE — Governor Dan McKee announced Thursday that Josh Saal has been appointed as Rhode Island’s new deputy secretary of commerce for housing.

In his new position, Saal will oversee the state’s housing efforts, particularly building more affordable housing.

“The appointment of a strong, skilled deputy secretary of housing like Josh Saal is a sign of that commitment and a positive step forward,” said McKee. “I know he is ready to hit the ground running on day one and I look forward to working with him.”

Saal’s position was created last year, but was never filled when former governor Gina Raimondo was in office.


McKee’s office said Saal is an experienced urban planner and affordable housing specialist whose career has centered around building more “equitable, inclusive, and resilient neighborhoods.” Saal began his housing career as a volunteer with the Housing Action Coalition of Rhode Island, conduction eviction prevention outreach to tenants in properties facing foreclosure. He attended Brown University.

He returns to Rhode Island from New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The governor also appointed Hannah Moore as assistant secretary of commerce, who will help implement small business initiatives that McKee proposed in his Rhode Island Rebounds proposal, which uses 10 percent of the state’s $1.13 billion in American Rescue Plan Funds from the federal government.

Moore has served as the chief of staff for the Rhode Island Executive Office of Commerce since 2017.

Alexa Gagosz can be reached at alexa.gagosz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.