Jill Smith starts Feb. 5; she is deputy director of health, housing and human services in Clackamas County, and also has worked at Multnomah County's housing authority.

Jill Smith will be the next director of housing services for Washington County.

County Administrator Robert Davis announced her appointment from a field of candidates to succeed Val Valfre, who retired Nov. 30 after nine years.

Smith, who starts Feb. 5, is no stranger to Portland metro housing agencies.

She has been deputy director of the Clackamas County Health, Housing and Human Services Department for 18 months. She worked nine years at Home Forward, Multnomah County's housing authority, as director of rent assistance and then its chief operating officer.

She also was Section 8 manager for the Housing Authority of Salt Lake City, Utah, for seven years.

"Jill has a wealth of experience, which will allow her to combine her skills in administration and effective service delivery to vulnerable populations with our ever-pressing need to develop and maintain affordable housing," Davis said in a statement.

Washington County's agency combines rental assistance to low-income households through federally funded programs with housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income households through financing and partnerships with public and private agencies.

Valfre had led the agency on a permanent basis since January 2009, after several months as its interim director. He had been its assistant director for four years, and also worked in housing in Tucson, Ariz., and the West Valley Housing Authority in Dallas, Ore., west of Salem. Before then he was in the U.S. Air Force 24 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

Before his retirement on Nov. 30, Valfre was appointed to a vacancy on the Forest Grove City Council.

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