HCA Newsletter

On this page we share HCA’s most recent monthly newsletter.

This lets those who need translation read it in their own language by selecting their language from the menu on the upper right. Enjoy!

Sa a pèmèt moun ki bezwen tradiksyon li nan pwòp lang yo lè yo chwazi lang yo nan meni ki anlè dwat. Jwi!

Esto permite a quienes necesitan traducción leerlo en su propio idioma seleccionando su idioma en el menú en la esquina superior derecha. ¡Disfrutar!


November 2023 Newsletter

What a Great Annual Meeting!
Thank You to Outgoing Board Member, Frank Tadley
Sign up for Holiday Meals by Nov 13
Electrify Arlington Energy Saving Event – Nov 20th
Keeping HCA Strong 

Great Community, Great Annual Meeting!
The HCA annual meeting made us all feel good. Thanks to everyone who attended!

We presented the Deacon Frank Mandosa Community Service Award to Vicki Santiago for her service to the Arlington community as a member of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and for her initiative in hosting an MBTA Communities meeting at her building, so that her fellow tenants could give input on that process.

During a slideshow of the last year’s highlights, we revealed the updated HCA mission statement!

The annual meeting is also when our membership votes on our Board of Directors. We now have a board made up of 14 members of the Arlington community. Welcome to new board members: Tina Anderson, Elena Arrendol, Ken Garden, and Jillian Standish! And congratulations to Board members who were re-elected this year: Jack Cooper, Neal Mongold, Tom Nee, Jon Wallach.

Board Members Danielle Chery, Makeelia Parker, Matthew Pierce, Kinjal Singh, Deirdre Wescott, and Laura Wiener were all mid-term and remained on the board. Learn more about the HCA board members on our website.

Six HCA members also gave updates about our programs, including sharing in their own words how those programs have personally impacted them. Their comments are below their photo:
From L to R: Elena Arrendol, Ana Andrade, Vicki Santiago, Tyson Price, Danita Callender, Shelly Dein
 From Elena Arrendol, HCA social services recipient & new HCA Board member
On Financial Literacy:“Over the last year, HCA held three financial literacy classes. Those classes helped 21 families gain skills in budgeting, saving, financial planning and more. Cambridge Savings Bank and Winchester Savings Bank sponsored the classes.I took this class and it was truly eye opening to me. I learned invaluable skills in budgeting, which allowed me to reshape my financial habits with confidence. Plus, the emphasis on saving not only bolstered my financial security but also empowered me to make smarter financial decisions. This class has undeniably helped me revisit and improve my relationship with money, and I am grateful for the knowledge and insights it has provided me.”
From Ana Andrade, HCA tenant & Tenant Council Leadership Group member
On Employment Services:“Over the last year, HCA assisted over 25 people in setting career goals, searching for jobs, and improving their interview skills, including 11 people who got new positions!I personally benefited from the hands-on assistance, whether that was working on my resume, or looking for jobs and getting help through the application process. And it was through that help that I’m now working at the Cambridge Housing Authority as a Tenant Coordinator.”

From Vicki Santiago, HCA Tenant & Tenant Council Leadership Group member
On MBTA Communities Engagement:

“Over the last year, HCA helped its tenants and other members understand what the MBTA Communities policy is…and, at several meetings and events, they helped us share our input with the Town about where the new multifamily housing zones should go.

I decided to host an MBTA Communities meeting in my HCA building because I saw MBTA communities as an opportunity to use some of my knowledge and contribute to my new neighborhood. We are raising our family in this town that we like, and we feel welcomed and thankful.”

From Tyson Price, HCA Tenant & Tenant Council Leadership Group member
On the HCA Tenant Council:

“Over the last year, HCA surveyed the tenants living in all 150 apartments to ask them about what is working and what isn’t working in their buildings. Over the last couple of months, HCA has been helping some tenant leaders to plan to form a Tenant Council for tenants of all of HCA’s properties.

I’m a member of that leadership group. By working together, I believe you can create a more favorable and responsive living environment for all residents. Some of the benefits and considerations associated with the formation of a Tenant Council will be improved communication, collective problem solving, community building, and increased accountability.

Overall, I think the formation of a Tenant Council is a positive step towards empowering tenants and improving living conditions.”

From Danita Callender, HCA social services recipient
On the Homelessness Prevention Program:

“Over the last year, HCA provided over $116,000 in Homelessness Prevention Program grants to 59 Arlington families, so that those families could remain housed. This program is even more important today because the rising cost of food, and the end of COVID era benefits, has made it even harder for families to cover their costs.

This program made a great impact on me by being a support to us in our time of need. I was granted financial assistance which was a blessing at a time when I was having difficulty. It is truly a tremendous source of relief to have someone in your corner ready and able to assist you.”

From Shelly Dein, HCA Real Estate Committee member
On Real Estate Development:

“In the last year, HCA got CPA funds, Housing Trust Funds, and zoning approved for our 43-unit energy efficient rental housing development that we will build at 10 Sunnyside Ave in East Arlington.

This work is important to me, and I serve on the HCA real estate committee because. I care passionately about providing high quality affordable housing opportunities to low- and moderate-income households, as well as addressing climate change.

Sunnyside Ave is being designed to the highest energy-efficiency standards which means that the new building will be resilient in the face of worsening weather conditions. I believe that welcoming new low- and moderate-income residents to Arlington brings a vibrancy and diversity to the town, and enriches all of us who live here. I am especially pleased that the Sunnyside building is being planned just a few streets away from where I live.”

We ended the annual meeting by talking with our neighbors about our wishes for HCA and Arlington, and then writing them down. You can see just a few wishes in the photos below.
HCA members vote for the Board of Directors
Thank you to Frank Tadley

A special thank you to outgoing board member, Frank Tadley, who has served on the HCA Board of Directors since 2018 and has been a tenant in one of HCA’s affordable homes for 10 years.

Thankfully, Frank is only leaving the Board, and not his involvement with HCA. Frank is a skilled photographer and is frequently seen photographing HCA events and properties. We also expect to continue to see him on the Real Estate committee and involved in the HCA Tenant Council. Thank you for all of your contributions and advice while serving on the board, Frank!

Holiday Meals – Sign Up by November 13!

HCA is again providing Thanksgiving baskets and Christmas meals for local families. SIgn up by November 13th for one or both!

You must pick up your Thanksgiving basket from the HCA office at 252 Mass Ave in Arlington on Saturday, November 18th.

If you sign up for the Christmas meal, it will be delivered to you on December 24th.

Thank you to the martial arts organization, Apex Defense Academy, for sponsoring the Thanksgiving baskets!

Thank you to Temple Isaiah of Lexington and Temple Shir Tikvah of Winchester for sponsoring the Christmas meals!

Register for your Thanksgiving basket or for Christmas meals using this form.

Contact Luca Cassano with questions: 781-859-5294 x 4 or LCassano@HousingCorpArlington.org

Town of Arlington Hosting Save on Energy Event 11-20

Drop by to learn about discounted electricity and gas rates, fuel assistance, replacement appliances, energy efficiency programs, and other ways to save money on your energy bills.  This open house will be especially helpful for lower-income Arlington residents, but people of all income levels are welcome. See the flyer below! If you are in a means-tested program (SNAP, SSI-disability, etc.), we can help you fill out applications to receive 42% off your electric bill and 25% off your gas bill.  Bring your bills or account numbers, plus an ID card or letter of acceptance from at least one means-tested program you participate in.  Check out this flyer with the full list of the qualifying programs. You need to reapply for the discounted utility rates every year, so it’s easy to slip off.  If you think you’re on the discounted rate, check your bills.  If the rate code is R-2 or R-4, you’re on the discounted rate; if it’s R-1 or R-3, you aren’t.Questions?  Email ElectrifyArlington@town.Arlington.ma.us


In a few weeks you will get a letter from HCA. Please read it!
We will be sharing news about the work and asking you to contribute.

Our costs have gone up, and we are seeing more people come in for help.

So, this year — if you can afford it — please consider increasing your annual donation by 20%. If you have never donated, or haven’t given in a while, we hope you will decide to give what you can.

You can get a head start on your donation by clicking here.
Or you can wait for our year-end appeal to officially kick off later this month.