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Mayor Keller Announces Key Hires to Advance Housing Priorities

Experienced executives will drive housing policy and programming.

June 5, 2023

The City has filled two important roles to lead its housing initiatives and work to address the housing crisis Albuquerque is facing. Debbie O’Malley will serve as the Associate Chief of Staff for Policy, and Joseph Montoya joins as the Deputy Director of Housing for the Family and Community Services Department. Both bring decades of experience in housing and community development, working to form policies and programs that increase access to affordable, stable housing.  

“These leaders bring the experience we need to face our city’s housing challenges head on and build solutions that work for Albuquerque,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We are focused on doing our part as a city to make sure that this a place where families can afford to live and thrive.” 

In response to the current crisis in the housing supply for Albuquerque residents, the City launched the Housing Forward initiative to spur access to housing and support conversion and construction of new housing for all segments of the market. Addressing the availability of housing for all Albuquerque residents is not only an important part of the City’s strategy to address homelessness, but it is also a key part of creating a more equitable, safe city with economic opportunities for folks of all backgrounds.  

Debbie O’Malley, Associate Chief of Staff for Policy 

Debbie O’Malley is a native of Albuquerque whose ancestors have resided in this region for hundreds of years. She and her husband raised their daughters in the Old Town/Sawmill neighborhood, where her father’s family has a long history. Her work in community organizing and neighborhood revitalization began in the early 1990’s, when she and her neighbors were able to force the environmental clean-up of the contaminated ground water and soil in the Sawmill District left over by negligent industry. Through the hard work of a small group of people, this working -class community has since become a national model for neighborhood revitalization. Debbie was the founder and first director of the non-profit development corporation responsible for this transformation, the Sawmill Community Land Trust, and through her elected positions as a City Councilor and County Commission has continued to support and direct resources to the planning and development of affordable housing and housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. She has also been a strong advocate for behavioral and mental health support services for families and children in the community.   

Debbie resides in the North Valley with her husband, Mike, near their daughters and grandchildren.  

Joseph Montoya, Deputy Director of Housing, Family and Community Services  

Joseph Montoya joins the City of Albuquerque after a 20+ year career in affordable housing development in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. He most recently served as the Community Development Director for the County of Santa Fe where he established a new housing trust fund. Over the course of his career, Mr. Montoya has facilitated the creation of over 10,000 units of affordable housing. He also brings extensive experience in economic development and sustainability initiatives. Mr. Montoya completed his undergraduate degree as well as a Masters in Planning and Public Administration at the University of New Mexico.