Keynote Speaker Lineup Unveiled for 2022 Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development

  • Posted on: 07/27/2022

HUD Region II Regional Administrator Alicka Ampry-Samuel and City of Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka to Headline as Keynote Speakers for Conference


TRENTON, NJ –  Lieutenant Governor and New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Sheila Y. Oliver today announced that HUD Region II Regional Administrator Alicka Ampry-Samuel and City of Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka will headline as keynote speakers for the 2022 Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development. The conference will take place on Thursday, September 29, and Friday, September 30, at the Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center in Atlantic City. This annual conference is jointly hosted by DCA, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), and the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA). 

To open the conference on Thursday, September 29, Mayor Ras J. Baraka will deliver his keynote address during the luncheon session. 

The Honorable Ras J. Baraka is the 40th Mayor of the City of Newark. A native of Newark, whose family has lived in the City for more than 80 years, Mayor Baraka’s progressive approach to governing has won him accolades from grassroots organizations to the White House. With a forward-thinking agenda that reduced crime to its lowest levels in five decades, addressed housing affordability while maintaining steady growth, lowered unemployment, returned local control of schools after more than two decades, and replaced all 23,000 known lead service lines in less than three years at no cost to residents, Baraka has gained national prominence around seeking bold and innovative solutions in his role as mayor and has surpassed expectations since taking office in 2014. 

Furthermore, Mayor Baraka is recognized nationally as a thought leader in the space of urban revitalization, and his commitment to reducing crime in Newark, reimagining public safety, tackling the City’s affordable housing shortage, and developing innovative and community-driven approaches to eliminating income inequality has solidified his status as one of the country’s most progressive elected officials.  

On the conference’s second day, Friday, September 30, Alicka Ampry-Samuel will share her message with attendees over brunch. 

HUD Region II Regional Administrator Alicka Ampry-Samuel presides over HUD’s activities in New York and New Jersey. Appointed in January of 2022 by President Joe Biden, Ms. Ampry-Samuel oversees over $6 billion in programs and activities in HUD’s New York Regional Office and its field offices in Albany, Buffalo, and Newark. The Regional Administrator works with Members of Congress and local elected officials to ensure that the Department’s policies and programs create more affordable, environmentally sustainable, and inclusive communities. 

Alicka Ampry-Samuel served as a New York City Council member, where she chaired the Public Housing Committee and as Deputy Leader. Her council district represented the highest concentration of public housing in North America. Prior to being elected to the City Council, Alicka Ampry-Samuel served on the senior team at the New York City Housing Authority. She has held a number of public service positions, including Chief of Staff in the New York State Assembly to working at the United States Embassy in Accra Ghana, as a Democracy and Human Rights Coordinator. Alicka Ampry-Samuel has over 20 years of experience helping individuals, families, and organizations in the housing and community development fields. 

“Mayor Baraka has been a steady and prominent housing leader in the City of Newark and we are thrilled that he and HUD Regional Administrator Ampry-Samuel will be joining us to headline this year’s conference,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver. “Throughout the pandemic, New Jersey has set a path for the nation to follow when it comes to housing and economic development in the face of adversity. We look forward to being able to come together in person to collaborate on advancing this mission.” 

“The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency is pleased to be co-hosting the 2022 Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development and welcomes the committed thought leaders who will join us to advance housing and economic development in New Jersey,” said Executive Director Melanie R. Walter. “Local and federal officials are key partners in ensuring vital programs have a transformative impact in New Jersey’s many and diverse communities. We look forward to Mayor Baraka and Regional Administrator Ampry-Samuel’s thoughts and advocacy on critical issues including obtaining and maintaining homeownership, providing solutions for housing and economic development, and improving equity within communities.” 

“Great leaders are experts at leveraging public and private investments that strengthen the economy, create jobs, and enhance lives. Lieutenant Governor Oliver has made an excellent choice in selecting two such leaders as the keynote speakers for this year’s Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Together, Mayor Baraka and HUD Region II Administrator Ampry-Samuel will provide attendees with invaluable insights on urban revitalization, housing, and community development which will help improve communities and cities across our state.”  

“The New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA) is pleased to collaborate another year with our sister agencies and bring industry professionals together for the 2022 Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development. After two long years, we are excited about the opportunity to come back together in person and use lessons learned to present sessions that focus on the intersectionality of redevelopment and social equity,” said NJRA President & CEO Leslie A. Anderson. “In this vein, it is appropriate to have Mayor Baraka, mayor of the NJRA’s largest legislatively-designated municipality, as the headline speaker for this conference. In addition, HUD Region II Regional Administrator Alicka Ampry-Samuel will close out the conference with her depth of knowledge on urban development and community revitalization.”  

The conference offers first-time and repeat attendees alike a unique forum for the housing community; bringing together developers, non-profit organizations, architects, engineers, attorneys, building supply manufacturers, building maintenance suppliers, property managers, tax-credit professionals, green-home builders, housing advocates, and governmental representatives on the state, county, and municipal level. A conference agenda and a list of breakout sessions can be found at

To kick off the conference, there will be a pre-conference Housing and Economic Development Hall of Fame Award Reception on September 28 to recognize a pioneer in the housing and economic development field. 

An opening plenary panel discussion will focus on the interplay between the agencies and their respective programs available to develop or redevelop underutilized sites across New Jersey. 

This is a pivotal opportunity to hear from heads of each host organization, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, NJHMFA Executive Director Melanie R. Walter, NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan and NJRA President & Chief Executive Officer Leslie A. Anderson.  

Additionally, breakout sessions are designed to explore diverse topics and the latest developments on issues facing our ever-evolving industry. This year’s tracks include sessions on property management, community economic solutions, equitable affordable housing, and historic rehabilitation. 

On September 29, attendees that participate in the Atlantic City Bus Tour will see firsthand the exciting examples of business and neighborhood revitalization efforts being made in the city. 

The Governor’s Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Awards will take place on September 30 where NJDCA, NJHMFA, NJEDA, and will recognize the most outstanding housing and economic development projects and partnerships throughout New Jersey. This year’s award recipients reflect a diverse mix of project types, locations, funding sources and partners, and each meets a unique set of needs and challenges. Most importantly, each project was developed as a result of true collaboration of public-private partnerships and community organizations, dedication and visionary leadership that serve as premier examples of the best New Jersey has to offer. 

Other conference highlights include a networking reception and a trade show featuring products and services from businesses and organizations that serve the housing and property management community.  

Registration is now open for the 2022 Governor’s Conference for Housing and Economic Development. For more information or to register, please visit

For more information about the host agencies and to visit them on social media:

Visit DCA at

   DCa on Twitter


Related Links

Gina Trish,
Tammori Petty,
Lisa Ryan
ph#: 609-292-6055