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MINNEAPOLIS-In the midst of a major reform effort of its housing and economic and community development divisions, the city of Minneapolis this week hired a new planning director.

Barbara Sporlein, deputy executive director for the St. Paul Housing Authority, will be the city’s new planning director, according to Lee Sheehy, executive director of Minneapolis’ Office of Community Planning and Economic Development. In her job with the St. Paul Housing Authority, Sporlein assisted in administering the agency’s more than 4,000 public housing units and 4,000 Section 8 rental assistance vouchers.

Prior to joining the St. Paul Public Housing Authority, Sporlein was a city planner with the St. Paul Department of Planning and Economic Development. As a city planner she was responsible for the annual implementation of the Housing Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan and the development of St. Paul’s first Consolidated Plan, a prerequisite for the receipt of federal housing and community development funds.

Sporlein, a Minneapolis native, is a board member of the Minnesota Chapter of National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials and is active in the Citizens League.

The Mayor and City Council recently created the Office of Community Planning and Economic Development in an attempt to produce a more effective and streamlined approach to the City’s planning and community and economic development activities. She will start the new job Jan. 9, 2004.

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