Maui News

Richard E. Mitchell appointed Director of new Maui Department of Housing

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Richard E. Mitchell was appointed as Director of the County of Maui’s newly created Department of Housing. PC: County of Maui

Mayor Richard Bissen today announced the appointment of Richard E. Mitchell as Director of the County of Maui’s newly created Department of Housing, which launches July 1, 2024. The new Housing Department was created when Maui County residents voted to pass a ballot measure in November 2022 that called for bifurcating the Department of Housing and Human Concerns.

Mitchell’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Maui County Council.

Mitchell, who previously worked as a Legislative Attorney in the Office of Council Services since 2019, earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Syracuse University, a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University.


“Mr. Mitchell brings a wealth of experience in housing policy, land use, real estate and law,” said Mayor Bissen. “We look forward to his leadership in advancing the Department of Housing’s mission to provide housing for residents, including wildfire survivors.”

After completing his bachelor’s degree, Mitchell practiced architecture in London, New York City and Seattle. During his career as a design architect, he maintained an interest in housing issues, largely because he grew up in public housing himself. This led him to work as a design architect on an urban redevelopment project that included affordable and market rate housing in the east London neighborhood where he grew up.

While studying at the University of Michigan, Mitchell spent a summer in the West Indies, collecting census data that would be used to make crucial improvements to impoverished shantytowns in Kingston, Jamaica. This experience led him to study law at Syracuse University. As a law student, he clerked for a summer as an attorney for the Harlem Legal Aid Society in New York City, providing legal services to those in need.


Upon his move to Seattle, Mitchell joined the board of the Low Income Housing Network, a nonprofit organization that advocates for housing for low-income community groups throughout the Pacific Northwest. Mitchell practiced law for over 23 years at several of Seattle’s premier law firms, and served as general counsel to former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire from January 2005 to December 2008. In addition, he served as one of five commissioners on the King County Housing Authority from 2010 to 2014.

Mitchell and his wife have three sons, each of whom graduated from Maui High School and enrolled in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.


Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments