Category: News

NOTICE OF FINAL PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT PLAN

FORMER ROSWELL’S WELDING SITE

19 REAR PARK AVENUE

RTN 3-24864

 

A release of oil and/or hazardous materials has occurred at this location, which is a disposal site as defined by M.G.L. c. 21E, § 2 and the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, 310 CMR 40.0000. On NOVEMBER 27, 2017, HOUSING CORPORATION OF ARLINGTON received a petition from residents in ARLINGTON requesting that this disposal site be designated a Public Involvement Plan site, in accordance with M.G.L. c. 21E §14(a) and 310 CMR 40.1404. As a result, a public meeting was scheduled at the PARK AVENUE CHURCH, 50 PAUL REVERE ROAD, ARLINGTON on FEBRUARY 13, 2018 at 6:00 P.M. to present the draft Public Involvement Plan, to solicit public comment on the draft Public Involvement Plan, and to provide information about disposal site conditions.

Please click this link to view our Final Public Involvement Plan: PIP Report- Downing Square 03-27-2018

Any questions regarding the Final Public Involvement Plan should be directed to PAMELA HALLETT, HOUSING CORPORATION OF ARLINGTON, 252 MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE, ARLINGTON, MA 02474, 781.859.5211.

The disposal site file can be can be viewed at MassDEP website using Release Tracking Number (RTN) 3-24864 at http://public.dep.state.ma.us/SearchableSites2/Search.aspx or at MassDEP, 205 LOWELL STREET, WILMINGTON, MA, 01887, 781.694.3200.

 

2016 Annual Report

Click here to view our 2016 Annual Report

2016 Annual Report – September 2017

Dear Members and Supporters,

Today we come together to celebrate our successes and to look forward to 2017’s achievements and challenges. We continue to be enormously grateful to our members, donors, volunteers and community partners for your ongoing support and interest in our mission. Your involvement enables us to promote a diverse and sustainable Arlington community.

2016 was another exciting and productive year! Our pipeline of development projects moved forward. The historic Kimball Famer House featuring three new units of affordable housing is fully rented with a beautiful perennial/wildflower garden created and maintained by a cadre of great volunteers! The 20 Westminster construction is beginning on 9 new affordable units. HCA purchased the Downing Square site and received special permits for both Downing Square and 117 Broadway to build 48 new units. We raised $144,000 in Community Investment Tax Credits donations and received a 2017 allocation of over $125,000. Remember to get your donation in for your 2017 tax credits!!

HCA now owns and operates 93 units of affordable rental housing in Arlington
with another 9 units in construction and 48 new units in the predevelopment stages. We completed $100,000 in capital improvements on the existing portfolio. These sustainability-focused improvements lowered utility costs and created more consistent, comfortable heat for our tenants and made our neighbors happy by upgrading some exteriors.

Our Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP) provided grants to 10 households this year for a total of $9,753. Unfortunately, we turned away 28 applicants because they could not demonstrate they would be sustainable. This is a troubling sign of the times. The program protects the most vulnerable in our community—the elderly, the disabled, single parents and families with young children, but they must demonstrate they can sustain their housing for at least 6 months. With the cost of housing continuing to rise, the 2017 demand for these resources has increased significantly. Overall the program has provided more than $975,000 in grants since 2001.

As much as we accomplish, the need for our work grows exponentially. After culling the wait list this year, we still have 661 households hoping for affordable units and 275 are current Arlington residents. A National Low Income Housing Coalition study found that in order to afford a market rate one bedroom apartment in the Boston Metro area, a household needs to earn a minimum of $24.25 per hour working a 40 hour week which provides an annual income of $50,440. The Massachusetts minimum wage is $11 per hour which means a person must work 88 hours a week to make that required income. We have much work to do.
Best wishes,

Tom Nee                                                                                Pamela Hallett
Board President                                                                   Executive Director

Click here to view Our 2016 Annual Report

 

Preserving and Improving Local Housing Authorities

Local Housing Authority Act of 2014

On Wednesday, August 6, HCA’s very own Board member, Jack Cooper, stood by Governor Deval Patrick’s side at the Massachusetts State House as he signed the new local Housing Authority Act of 2014, H 4374, which modified Chapter 121B of the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL).  This Act requires all housing authorities in Massachusetts to have one public housing resident seat at each authority.  The resident will be chosen by tenants residing at the local housing authority.  The law also requires all commissioners and directors to receive certified training in conflict of interest, property management and the role of public housing commissioners.  In addition, all housing authorities must develop annual plans with a resident advisory board participating in the planning process.

For more detailed information on H 4374 visit: Massachusetts Public Housing Law No.4374

 

HCA Board member, Jack Cooper, is pictured to the far left.

HCA Board member, Jack Cooper, is pictured to the far left.

 

 

 

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Jack Cooper is the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants.  For over 20 years with the first statewide public housing resident organization in the United States, he has worked with grassroots organizations and public agencies in Massachusetts and Washington DC developing public and affordable housing polices and supportive service planning.  Jack also served as a member of the US HUD Operating Rule Making Committee and of the US HUD’s Public and Assisted Housing Training Team, which trained over 5,000 public housing residents and managers on the New Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act.

Jack currently acts as Vice President of the Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), the Commonwealth’s largest research planning and advocacy group for housing and community issues.  He also Chair’s CHAPA’s Public Housing Committee, an open committee which has as participants MassNAHRO, Mass Law Reform, local housing authorities, affordable housing consultants, not-for-profit organizations, public housing residents and the Department of Housing of Community Development.

 

HCA Receives 2015 CITC Award…

We are very proud to be awarded another $50,000 in Community Investment Tax Credits for 2015!!  We are one of 12 community development corporations state wide who allocated more than 95% of the 2014 CITC tax credits.  Thank you to all who invested!!  If you are interested in investing in 2015 let’s get started early to avoid last year’s year end crunch.  Please call, email or write to say you are interested for this year..

To learn more about the CITC program, click here

Capital Square Apartments – Honorable Mention

HCA is proud to announce Capital Square Apartments won Honorable Mention in the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Historic Rehabilitation Awards!

Here is the associated press release.  Financial Innovation HM – Capitol Square Apts

New Beginning at HCA’s Capitol Square Apartments

In June 2012, Brian Smith, a construction equipment broker, scouted out the Capitol Square Apartment site in Arlington to see if they could use his services. The contractor’s crew was there removing asbestos, and Brian gave them his card in hopes that they would contact him for their construction equipment needs. They did not, and Brian, a 7 time marathon runner who was happily settled near the water in South Boston, never imagined he’d be living at Capitol Square Apartments nine months later in an accessible unit, confined to a wheelchair. Housing Corporation of Arlington’s latest affordable housing development, Capitol Square Apartments, has two fully accessible units with an exterior ramp and an interior lift for those with mobility impairments.

Brian & Cathleen at CS 2Last August, Brian jumped off a 30 foot boat in Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, hitting the sandbar and breaking his neck. Brian was sent by helicopter to the Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center. Both his legs and arms were affected by the accident, and he became quadriplegic. After a five‐week drug‐induced coma, Brian found himself at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital for three months. As Brian worked hard on his recovery, he tried to figure out how he was going to live safely and independently. Brian’s South Boston apartment was not wheelchair accessible. With the help of his father, brother and a case worker at Spaulding, Brian “applied everywhere.” One place he applied was the Capitol Square Apartments and was luckily the 13th number picked out of 333 applicants in the lottery.

Until he was offered a unit at Capitol Square Apartments, Brian lived in the only other accessible unit he could find in Lynn. There, he feared for his safety after a brick was thrown through his bedroom window on his first day there. After all he had been through in the previous six months, Brian was horrified and thought, “You gotta be kidding me!”

At the end of February, one month later, Brian was offered an accessible unit in Arlington. The unit is bright and cheerful with automatic door openers, an accessible bathroom and doorways wide enough for Brian’s wheelchair.

Cathleen Lee is Brian’s personal care assistant. With her help, Brian is out everyday—doing errands, food shopping, going to his doctor appointments and physical & occupational therapy. Even with Cathleen’s help, Brian said “it takes me two and a half hours, from 8:30 to 11:00 AM, to get ready for the day.”

For someone who used to get up at 4:00 AM and be knocking on doors by 6:00 AM, the change in lifestyle has been monumental. Brian used to participate in 30 races each summer—5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons. Now, Brian can’t write, pick up objects or squeeze door handles.

Having worked since the age of 14, including putting himself through college, Brian is understandably finding the transition difficult. “I am losing my mind not working,” he said. He spends many of his days going to Journey Forward in Canton, an organization dedicated to bettering the lives of those who have suffered a Spinal Cord Injury through an intense exercise program, and going to Spaulding for his physical therapy appointments. Brian has traded his trusty pickup for a Dodge minivan that can hold his wheelchair and ramp.

Brian doesn’t have enough good things to say about Peabody Properties, who manage Capitol Square Apartments, “Peabody is first class—extremely accommodating and detail orientated. Barbara [from the Peabody staff] kept us updated and ensured a smooth transition.” At first, he couldn’t get out of the building because there was no electric automatic door opener. When Brian made the complaint, the opener was installed within the week.

When asked what he thought about the apartments themselves, Brian replied, “The buildings are excellent, the place is beautiful. They kept the look & feel of the original structure and added modern amenities. They used copper, updated the windows—even the ramp is incredible.”

Brian is pleased to be living in Arlington and ready to take advantage of the town when the weather gets warmer. He is excited about trying restaurants in the area: Jimmy’s Steer House, Not Your Average Joe’s, Blue Ribbon BBQ, and Sabatino’s. Brian loves going to the movies and is thrilled to be down the street from the Capitol Theatre. In the spring, he hopes to be able to wheel right down to church services at St. Agnes Parish, “Arlington is a dream with its wide sidewalks. I am forever grateful to the Housing Corporation of Arlington for providing me with a
terrific home in such an upstanding community.”

Our Dear Friend, Mary Doyle

On February 23, 2013, HCA lost a devoted member of our board of directors, Mary Doyle.

Mary Dancing

A vibrant part of our organization, Mary brought energy, enthusiasm, wisdom, warmth and grace to HCA throughout the years. We will miss her terribly.

Here is Mary’s obituary.

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