A New Bedford housing official is taking on a national leadership role.

Patrick Sullivan, the city's Director of Planning, Housing, and Community Development has been elected to the Executive Board and will be the new Vice-President of the National Community Development Association.

The Association interacts very closely with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and has a working relationship with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to discuss how federal programs are run and how funds are untilized.

Sullivan says that in his new role he will focus on the best ways that federal resources can be used to benefit urban communities.

"I think in my position as Vice-President it's really bringing alot of those issues together and really ensuring that cities benefit in the best way possible from these funds and are able to use it to revitalize their communities in many different ways," said Sullivan.

He also feels that other communities can learn a great deal from how New Bedford has addressed issues of housing and community development.

"New Bedford has really been a leader over its history of receiving Community Development and housing dollars from HUD and have done alot of innovative projects and, really, it's been a model for alot of different programs and initiatives," said Sullivan.

Sullivan has also said that over his 18 years with the Association's Board of Directors many beneficial changes have taken place.

"I do chair the Community Development Committee as well, and we have made some changes to our bylaws and other things within the board of directors that have really made some improvements," said Sullivan.

Mayor Jon Mitchell welcomed news of Sullivan's appointment.

“Pat Sullivan continues to make outstanding contributions to the City and I am pleased that he now has the opportunity to do the same at a national level," said Mitchell "Our efforts here in New Bedford on community development ought to serve as a model for other cities and New Bedford can also benefit from lessons learned in other communities.”

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