On May 31, 2017, The Learning Zone After-School Program children at our Salem Street location started the growing season at the North Common Village Community Garden. Program Manager, Delmis Sierra assisted the children in choosing what produce they would like to cultivate and many of the children will be able to observe the process from planting to harvest as they transition into attending our Youth Summer Activities Program during the months of July and August. The children have chosen to grow tomatoes, green peppers, green beans, sweet potatoes, watermelon, mint and basil.
We will be sure to post additional pictures on our social media pages throughout the growing season!
Parents interested in registering their children for the Youth Summer Activities Program may complete the registration form and deliver to Michelle Dinan, Family Self Sufficiency Director, at the Executive Office at 350 Moody Street, or register on site beginning July 11th at George Flanagan, 580 Chelmsford Street, or North Common Village, 21 Salem Street.
The Lowell Housing Authority is proud to announce that the agency received 2017 NERC/NAHRO Awards of Merit.The applications were submitted In January, for two awards through the New England Regional Council (NERC) of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO).The awards are presented annually to recognize nationally, the achievements of NERC/NAHRO members. While there are many categories for award consideration, the Authority applied for an Award of Merit for Project Design and one for Administrative Innovation.
For the Project Design category, the Authority was recognized for its efforts to revitalize Themeles square in 2016 with new lighting, landscaping, seating, and open spaces to reduce crime in the neighborhood.
The award for Administrative Innovation addressed the agency’s work to create digital copies of aging blueprints to improve efficiency of operations by increasing the ease by which contractors can access and handle the blueprints, while preserving the integrity of the historic documents.The project, while a brainchild of the Authority, was brought to fruition with the help of University of Massachusetts Lowell students, who worked tirelessly to complete the digitization, and we sincerely thank them for their hard work
Senior staff from the agency will accept the awards at the NERC/NAHRO Annual Meeting in June. The agency is grateful for the recognition and will continue to find new ways in the coming year to improve efficiencies and design innovative housing to meet the needs of our residents.
In 2016, the Lowell Housing Authority set an annual goal to rebrand the agency, aligning the Authority’s activities with the modern challenges in housing, which require Public Housing Authority’s not only to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing, but to also address the social, educational, and economic barriers that hinder personal growth and independent living. Adopted by the Board at the Annual Meeting in March, this year-long endeavor to redefine the Authority, culminated in a new logo and slogan that we believe more accurately reflects the progressiveness of the agency and its programs, including our commitment to data driven decision-making, innovative housing solutions, modern architectural design, resident engagement, and cutting edge support programs that afford residents the opportunity for stability and mobility. The Lowell Housing Authority is pleased to announce the release of the agency’s new logo, and slogan. The agency will strive to be “A Foundation for Stability and Opportunity” for our residents by providing a safe and affordable place to call home and the tools needed to foster personal growth and independence.
Lowell Housing Authority to Develop New Mixed-Use Housing
For the last two years, the Lowell Housing Authority has worked to revitalize the streetscape along Market Street, which to date, has seen improvements with new parking, iron fencing, and new walkways.More recently, Themelis Square at the corner of Market Street and Dummer Street has been improved to include open seating with new benches, lighting, additional parking spaces for residents, and new landscaping. The Lowell Housing Authority is committed to the urban revitalization of the Merrimack Street Corridor. To that end, the agency has established a non-profit affiliate called the Revitalization Effort Toward New Urbanism (RENU), to begin an ambitious project to develop mixed-use property consisting of workforce housing and retail space. The vision for the 50-60 new units will be designed for families making $40,000-$60,000—families who often do not meet eligibility requirements for other LHA housing options.
While the project is still in the early stages, an environmental review has been conducted, and RENU has assembled its Board of Directors, consisting of community partners who will help drive the project. The next step for the nonprofit will be the submission of an application to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to disposition scattered sites.Funding will come from the disposition of the scattered sites, along with low-income tax credits.The organization will be working on resident outreach this spring to discuss the plans for the project, though it will be at least a year before any resident is relocated to another Lowell Housing Authority property.
Watch the interview with Gary Wallace, Executive Director, on the Sun Spot feature of your local news