Charles M. Smith, 82, a retired government official whose interests ranged from federal housing programs to economic development in the South, died of cancer Jan. 1 at his home in Annandale.

From 1969 until he retired in 1973, Mr. Smith was the program planning director of the Coastal Plains Regional Commission, an agency set up in the Department of Commerce in 1965 to promote economic development in the southeastern United States.

Earlier in his career, he was a newspaperman, an official of various federal housing programs and of the National Council of Churches. He was a member of the White House staff under president Lyndon B. Johnson and the staff director of the Senate subcommittee on intergovernmental relations. He also worked for the Southern Regional Council.

He worked in John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1960 and for Hubert H. Humphrey and Edmund Muskie in their 1968 campaign as the Democratic candidates for president and vice president.

A native of Baton Rouge, La., Mr. Smith attended Washington & Lee University and graduated from Tulane University. He later did graduate work in economics and sociology at the University of North Carolina. In the 1930s, he was a newspaperman in New Orleans and Philadelphia and then did public relations work in New York.

From 1941 to 1942, Mr. Smith was executive secretary of the Southestern Cooperative League, an economic development organization. In 1942, he came to Washington as assistant information director of the Farm Security Administration. After World War II service in the Army, he returned here as information director of the Housing and Home Finance Agency.

From 1953 to 1960, he was acting head of the Washington office of the National Council of Churches.

In 1960, he worked in the Kennedy campaign and then was a congressional liaison for federal housing programs, including the 1965 act that established the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 1965 and 1966, he worked in the White House, and from 1966 to 1968, he was staff director of the Senate subcommittee on intergovernmental relations.

Mr. Smith served on the Virginia Council on Human Relations and was a member of the National Press Club and the Friday Morning Music Club.

His marriage to Cynthia Sanborn ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Josephine Knox Smith of Annandale; three children by his first marriage, Cynthia Putnam of New Orleans, Meredith Ramsay of Bethesda and Tamara Gamble of Charlottesville, Va.; two stepchildren, Jonathan Seely of Tucson and Mary Pittet of Lausanne, Switzerland; two sisters, Constance Smith of Richmond, Ind., and Katherine Ogden of Baton Rouge; a brother, Archie Smith Jr. of Middleburg; and 10 grandchildren.