A new leader of housing programs for Minneapolis' development agency will take over the post in February.

Andrea Brennan, a former Dakota County official, will move into the position that has been vacant since April. She will oversee funding for housing projects and guide development strategies when she starts Feb. 12.

The city's Community Planning and Economic Development director, Craig Taylor, who started in City Hall last summer, selected Brennan after conducting a nationwide search.

As the city's leader of housing policy and development, Brennan will guide efforts to increase homeownership rates and soothe the effects of the foreclosure crisis.

"I look forward to working with CPED's talented staff and the city's many external partners to continue to grow the city of Minneapolis and enhance economic opportunities for Minneapolis' residents," Brennan said in a statement.

Former head Tom Streitz left the position last year to lead Twin Cities RISE!, a job training program.

Brennan has 17 years of housing and development work. After serving as the deputy executive director for the Washington County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Brennan led Dakota County's Community Development agency beginning in 2011.

"I know her leadership will help us do more to increase the availability of affordable family housing and expanded housing options for seniors," Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a news release.

Jessica Lee is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for Star Tribune.