As the Lowell Housing Authority approaches another year, we reflect upon all that we’ve accomplished and look towards the future to make next year even better than the last. Despite another year of challenges presented by the pandemic, the agency plowed ahead and is proud of its accomplishments. The safety and wellbeing of our residents were of critical concern in 2021 as we continue navigating another year of these unsettling times together. A lot has happened in 2021, and we’re excited to share our experiences!
In 2021, the Housing Authority balanced the need to improve community spaces for residents, while ensuring resident safety. South Common Village, City View Towers, and Centralville Gardens all received a fresh coat of paint, and new modern furnishings. We are currently working on also giving Belvidere Heights a little TLC. Social gathering had been limited due to the pandemic, but we hope these spaces will be fully utilized in the future, including our plan to bring engaging activities and resident services to these properties.
We have high hopes for 2022, but this past year, we were attentive to ensuring every resident had the opportunity to receive free COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. We would like to thank our administrative office team for their coordination of these services. We offer special thanks to the City of Lowell, Lowell General Hospital, Trinity Medical, and Cataldo Ambulance Services, who were instrumental in providing COVID-19 testing and vaccinations to our residents and staff. Our success would not have been possible without your support.
Increasing the available affordable housing in the City of Lowell has always been a priority for the Housing Authority. This year, the agency made considerable strides to ensure that in just a few short years, our efforts to improve the Acre Neighborhood could become a reality. The Lowell Housing Authority has dispositioned all 87 scattered sites and is in the process of relocating families to their new homes. The agency’s nonprofit arm, the Revitalization Effort Towards New Urbanism, has also acquired two new properties for the future development of affordable housing, which is anticipated to include veterans housing with supportive services.
While we only held one event this year, it was a memorable one for the agency. In June, the LHA was pleased to honor former State Senator and current chairman of the Lowell Housing Authority, Philip L. Shea with the dedication of the Market Street bridge in his honor. That afternoon was particularly special; the agency was able to bring Chairman Shea back to the North Common Village Property, where he grew up on Lewis Street, to present scholarship awards to the next generation of deserving, Lowell youth.
The Lowell Housing Authority’s success would not be possible without the efforts of our dedicated team, and we recognize and appreciate their contributions.
Our JobsPLUS self-sufficiency program hit the ground running this year under the leadership of Katie Sadlier, our new JobsPLUS Director. Katie, along with her team of Case Managers, Heather Barker and Madeline Colon-Rivera, and Community Outreach Specialists, Jennifer Flores and Kiss Quick, were able to enroll 140 participants into the program. Mary Alice McParlane, our new Program Outreach and Compliance Specialist, also contributed her design expertise to implementing very successful program outreach. Participants of JobsPLUS are actively striving to reach their goals of acquiring job skills, seeking educational opportunities, and breaking down barriers to sustained self-improvement and economic security. We are proud of the accomplishments of the JobsPLUS Program, and those of our participants, and we look forward to another year of success.
The Housing Authority had the pleasure of welcoming new employees to our Facilities Management team. Through heat, rain, and snow, our Facilities Management department keeps our properties looking their best. In 2021, we hired Rafael Santana, Pedro Febo, and Rayan Vimsoleng, who have been reliable hardworking additions to our conscientious maintenance crew.
In November, the Executive Office team was reinvented to facilitate changes in human resources administration and resident services through two newly created positions. The agency hired Donna Toohey, as our Human Resource Generalist, and Paula Gouveia as the LHA’s Resident Health Advisor.
Our new employees come to the Authority with diverse backgrounds and experience, and have brought with them new ideas. Most importantly, our team brings with them a daily commitment to those we serve. We are excited for them to grow with the agency, and for the many contributions they will make to the LHA in 2022.
There is a lot to be grateful for in 2021, and we are blessed to have been presented with the prospects, and the fruitful community partnerships to continue to provide the highest quality housing and support services for our residents. Thank you to our residents, Chairman Philip L. Shea, and our Board of Commissioners, and our community partners for your continued support. On behalf of the Lowell Housing Authority, and the Board of Commissioners, we wish you a safe, and happy holiday season.
Gary K. Wallace< PREVIOUS BACK TO ALL NEWS NEXT >