The Mobile Housing Board of Commissioners on Wednesday morning reported a record number of applicants as the agency hired its first positions since absorbing its nonprofit partner Mobile Development Enterprises.

“Applications are in,” MHB attorney Raymond Bell told commissioners. “There was far more interest than we expected.”

In total, the agency received 160 applications for the jobs posted so far, Bell said, representing both internal and external candidates.

The majority of those came in the 120 applicants for seven resident services adviser positions, MHB Human Resources Director Kathy Bryant said. Of those, the Mobile County Personnel Board advanced 21 names, she said. HR staff will be conducting interviews throughout the week for those positions.

“We’ve been in a whirlwind,” she said.

Cole Appleman, who was previously employed by MDE, has accepted the position of capital funds director for MHB, Bryant said. Appleman was one of five candidates the Personnel Board whittled down to three, she said.

Marie Moon, a current MHB employee, was named resident services supervisor, Bryant said. Moon was chosen from a list of 35 applicants. Bryant also announced current employee Griffin Shreaves accepted the position of operations and compliance manager. Shreaves was one of 15 applicants for the job and one of five or seven qualified by the Personnel Board, Bryant said.

The agency is still searching for a network and website manager, after its top choice turned down the job, Bryant said. The agency had two qualified candidates to choose from out of the seven who applied.

Bryant told commissioners that the agency would be competing with the city for a good IT manager.

“There is stiff competition for that position,” Bryant told commissioners. “The city has restructured its department and there are several new openings.”

MHB Vice Chairman Reid Cummings congratulated all who had been hired by agency staff.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I hope you all are as well.”

Cummings said the “record number” of applicants seemed like a vote of confidence for the way the board has been managed lately.

“We’re in a super tight labor market right now,” he said. “The record number of applicants … is a signal to the community that this is a great place to work.”

Commissioner Norman Hill said the hiring of internal staff for these positions showed the right people had been chosen for the jobs in the first place.

“It shows there was a lot of talent … ,” he said. “I’m glad to see they still showed themselves to be good candidates.”

There are still a number of hires to be made and Bell had no update on the policy changes MHB had advanced, as he said he is still awaiting further dialogue from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.