Author: Andrew Rocha

LHA Opens Waiting List for Disabled Homeless Adults

****PLEASE NOTE THAT APPLICATIONS ARE NO LONGER BEING ACCEPTED FOR THIS PROGRAM ****

WHAT:  The Lowell Housing Authority (LHA) will open the waiting list and accept applications for the Housing Choice Voucher Mainstream Program (MP-811).

WHO: Non-elderly persons with disabilities, at least 18 and 61 years of age who are:

          • Transitioning out of institutional or other segregated settings,
          • At serious risk of institutionalization,
          • Homeless, or
          • At risk of becoming homeless

WHERE/WHEN: Applications will be accepted for a limited time beginning Monday, August 16, 2021, at 8:30 a.m. through Friday, August 20, 2021, at 4:30 p.m.   Applications submitted by mail must be postmarked no later than Friday, August 20, 2021.

Applications will be accepted in person at the Mercier Center, 21 Salem Street, Lowell, MA 01854 beginning Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM.  Applications will also be available online by visiting our website, www.lhma.org, under “Latest News” by accessing the link for the Mainstream Program (MP-811).

Applications will not be accepted by email or fax.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no advantage to being the first to apply.  Position on the waiting list will be determined by a computerized random selection system.

If you are a person with disabilities and would like to request a reasonable accommodation you may contact Ms. Alina Sokun at 978-364-5338 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or by email at [email protected]

Applications will be accepted without regard to race, color, creed, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, or national origin.  Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities.

****APPLICATION WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE MONDAY, AUGUST 16TH AT 8:30 A.M.-FRIDAY, AUGUST 20TH AT 4:30 P.M.****

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Never Forget Where You Came From

On Sunday, June 27th, the Lowell Housing Authority and the City of Lowell had the honor of dedicating the bridge on Market Street to Philip L. Shea.

Philip L. Shea is a proud Lowell native with a lifetime of accomplishments. Shea grew up in Lowell’s public housing at 82 Lewis Street in the Acre’s North Common Village. Throughout his career, Shea was instrumental in developing federal, state and local partnerships to revitalize the City of Lowell and is widely recognized for his leadership and mentorship of young public servants to ensure they reach their full potential.  Shea holds the special distinction of being the only Lowell elected official to have served in the Lowell City Council, the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and the State Senate. Shea currently serves as the Chairperson of the Lowell Housing Authority.

Congratulations Chairman Shea! Thank you to all of the family and friends who joined us for the occasion.

In Lowell’s Acre neighborhood, a reminder: ‘Never forget where you came from’ – Lowell Sun

LHA & Community Partners Offer Free Meals for Kids!

Summer’s here and the Lowell Housing Authority in partnership with the YMCA are providing Free Meals for Kids!


Throughout the Summer, beginning Tues June, 8th, Local Lunchbox will be providing weekly meals for all individuals 18 and under! Plan to stop by 21 Salem St., between 10 am -12 pm, to grab some delicious food prepared by El Pez Dorado Restaurant Bar and Grill! Thank you to our partners at Greater Lowell Family YMCA. #LocalLunchbox

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Give the Gift of Opportunity! Support Lowell Housing Authority Youth Today!

LYAP Award Recipients

The Lowell Youth Activities Program Inc.’s Philip L. Shea Scholarship Awards Program has been providing opportunities for high school seniors living in public housing for the last 25 years. Our program’s success, and the success of our students is only made possible through the generous support of the Lowell community. We understand and appreciate that there are many needs to be met during this challenging time, but we ask that you remember higher education in your giving priorities this year. A strong educational foundation is critical to the economic self-sufficiency of our young residents.

Given our need to adhere to social distancing guidance, we realize that holding a large event will not be possible this year, but we count on your support.

Help us continue to forge new memories for Lowell Housing Authority youth by giving today!

For questions or to donate, please contact [email protected], or make checks payable to Lowell Youth Activities Program Inc., P.O. Box 1103, Lowell, MA 01853.

Donations at the $200 level or greater will receive special recognition on our website and social media following the event.

Thank you for supporting Lowell Youth!

Lowell Youth Activities Program, Inc. Philip L. Shea Scholarship Awards Tickets | Eventbrite


Philip L. Shea

Philip L. Shea was a former resident of Lewis Street at North Common Village, the Lowell Housing Authority’s flagship property. He was educated in Lowell Public Schools, and holds a special distinction as the only Lowell elected official to have served in the Lowell City Council, the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and the Massachusetts State Senate. As a member of the House of Representatives Shea established a Housing Court, and as a Member of the Senate, sponsored legislation to help preserve State Parks in Massachusetts. At the pinnacle of his career, Shea served as Chief Financial Officer under Secretary William Galvin.

Throughout his career, Shea had been instrumental in developing federal, state and local partnerships with an emphasis on revitalizing the City of Lowell. He is widely recognized for his leadership and mentoring of young public servants in their pursuit of higher education, and professional development. For the last 25 years, Commissioner Shea has supported the Lowell Housing Authority’s nonprofit affiliate, the Lowell Youth Activities Program, Inc. Scholarship Awards, awarding upwards of $20,000 in scholarships annually to deserving low-income students living in Lowell.

Happy Holidays!

This has not been an easy year, but we were able to plow through it together, with a lot to be proud of. Thank you to our community partners, vendors, for all that you do each day to support LHA and our residents for your ongoing support. For our applicants who we have not had the opportunity to house, we look forward to serving you soon because everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Thank you also to our Board of Commissioners for your continued support of the Housing Authority, and especially Chairperson Shea for his leadership on the Board.

This holiday season will be very different than in year’s past. However, we are rounding the corner on 2020, and we’re hopeful that 2021 will usher in our “old normal”.

While the gatherings may be smaller this year, we hope the company you are able to keep are festive bunch and bring joy to your holiday season. On behalf of the Lowell Housing Authority, we’d like to wish all of you and your families good health, and a safe and happy holiday season.

LHA AWARDED $70K FOR SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM

The Lowell Housing Authority is pleased to announce that we are proud recipients of a $70,000 DHCD grant to increase resident self-sufficiency. These funds will be used to assist our state property residents, and participants of the Lowell Housing Authority’s Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) reach their self-sufficiency goals. The grant will create an innovative community collaboration which will provide employment, financial literacy, and education services to our residents, with an emphasis on reaching our young adult population, through career goal attainment and homeownership opportunities. Thank you to the Department of Housing and Community Development for your confidence in the Lowell Housing Authority, and for your support of our residents.

LHA Hires 4. Get to Know Our New Staff!

Naida Gonzalez, Resident Services Coordinator

Naida will be joining our team as a Resident Service Coordinator at South Common Village. Naida possesses 15 years of experience in case management, substance abuse, shelter services and property management. Naida has an Associates Degree from Middlesex Community College, and is bi-lingual–fluent in Spanish, and speaking basic Portuguese.

Krystal Vanhorne, Assistant Property Manager

Krystal comes to the agency from Catholic Charities of Worcester. Prior to her employment with Catholic Charities, Krystal worked in admissions at Worcester Housing Authority, and has administrative and supervisory experience in shelter services. She posseses a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy and Health Services and Sciences.

Virak Vong, Public Housing Office Assistant

Virak is our new addition to the Public Housing Office. Virak was previously employed as an Admissions Coordinator for the Umass Lowell Navitas Global Student Success Program. He has over 10 years of customer service, office coordination, and data entry system experience. Virak has a Bachelors Degree in English Language Teaching, and is bi-lingual in English and Khmer.

Kristen Conlon, Associate to the Procurement Officer

Kristen will be joining our procurement department. Kristen has extensive experience in coordination, planning and support in case management and customer service settings. She comes to us from Homebase Collaborative Family Counseling, where she was employed as a Clinical Case Manager. Kristen has a Bachelors Degree from Saint Anselm College.

LHA and Habitat for Humanity Property Sale Converts Aging Group Home To Family Housing

Three years ago, the LHA sought to repurpose an aging, former LHA group home on Nesmith Street owned by the Authority. This property required a new roof and boiler, but limited funding hindered progress at Nesmith House. In February of 2017, the property was sold to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell, who we knew would make better use of the property and keep the property affordable. The property sale was blessed by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) with the stipulation Habitat for Humanity maintain permanently affordable housing at 80% of the median income. Habitat for Humanity closed on the property in March, the same day Governor Baker shut down the state.

The project came to fruition this May for Habitat for Humanity, who converted an eyesore into a beautiful two-family home, with outdoor living space. How blessed and appreciative these two families were to be able to shelter in place in their own home! Thank you to Habitat for Humanity for all your efforts in ensuring new families have a safe, affordable place to call home.

Lowell Youth Activities Program to Host Annual Scholarship Awards!

Spring typically is a time of anticipation and excitement, as seniors look forward to wrapping up another long year and get ready to embark on new journey in their lives. This year’s high school seniors have had a tough year and will have very different memories of their senior year—no in-classroom learning, no-spring sports, no prom, and the countless other social occasions to celebrate, have now been marred by masks and social distancing. Students cannot get the days they have lost back, but with a little patience and hope, they will be able to focus on the new opportunities that await them. We look forward to continuing to play a role in their success.

The Lowell Youth Activities Program Inc.’s Philip L. Shea Scholarship Awards Program has been providing opportunities for high school seniors living in public housing for the last 25 years. Our program’s success, and the success of our students is only made possible through the generous support of the Lowell community. We understand and appreciate that there are many needs to be met during this challenging time, but we ask that you remember higher education in your giving priorities this year. A strong educational foundation is critical to the economic self-sufficiency of our young residents. Help us continue to forge new memories for Lowell Housing Authority youth by giving today.

This year, we are hoping to host our scholarship awards night on Thursday, August 20, 2020, and are pleased to announce that we will be honoring former Mayor and active City Councilor William Samaras. Given our need to adhere to social distancing guidance, we realize that holding a large event may not be possible this year. If we should cancel our event, the Lowell Youth Activities Program will be developing a multimedia experience to highlight our award recipients and share their stories with you.

We ask for your support. Donations, sponsored advertising opportunities, and tickets (if hosted) are available by visiting https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lowell-youth-activities-program-inc-philip-l-shea-scholarship-awards-tickets-105957894916.  Thank you for your generous contribution to the Lowell Youth Activities Program.

Please continue to visit our website for updates regarding this event. 

LHA Hosts Annual Meeting of the Board of Commissioners

The Lowell Housing Authority hosted its Annual Meeting of the Board of Commissioners last night. This meeting is a special night for the Authority. The agency reports on the progress of last year’s goals and looks towards the future by establishing new agency goals for the coming year. Beyond business as usual, the agency takes the time to acknowledge our community partners, recognize an employee of the year, and most importantly celebrate the accomplishments of our residents.

In 2019, the agency set the goal to disposition our scattered site properties, and have since realized $8.5M in sales revenue of all 87 properties. These funds will be used to develop additional affordable housing in the City of Lowell.

Strengthening our team was an important objective for the agency in 2019. Property managers received training in many areas including reasonable accommodations, fair housing, documenting violations, repayment agreements, REAC compliance and crime prevention.  Two of our assistant properties also received their Public Housing Manager Certifications, and a member of our finance team received certification from the Massachusetts OIG in Public Procurement (MCPPO).

The strength of our team is critical to the financial health of the agency. Our Asset Management properties continue to be revenue producing, and the agency received a 24/25 financial indicator score at the close of 2019.  The agency also continued to expand upon a 2006 Energy Performance Contract between the LHA, HUD and Ameresco. An application to extend the contract for another 8 years was submitted to HUD in July, with approval anticipated this April.  The agency hopes to improve lighting, install efficiency toilets, replace heaters and boilers, and roof replacement and insulation upgrades.

We continued to engage our residents and stakeholders in 2019, increasing our audience on Facebook and Twitter, and developing e-technologies to better serve our residents. We also conducted technology workshops at our elderly properties to bridge the digital divide.

All of our work would not be possible, without the confidence and commitment from our community partners, our dedicated staff, and the support from our residents. We take the opportunity each year to acknowledge their contributions to the LHA’s success.

Congratulations to our 2019 award winners!

Community Partners of the Year

  • Enterprise Bank
  • The Kaitlin Kazanjian Foundation
  • Lowell Community Health Center

Residents of the Year

  • The Joseph Family, Public Housing
  • Dany Ngeth, Family Self-Sufficiency Program
  • Kristine Brown, Housing Choice Voucher Program

Employee of the Year

  • Gerard Beausoleil

 

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