LHA Conducts Community Needs Assessment with Residents

Lowell Housing Authority conducted a community needs assessment survey at the Authority’s designated elderly/disabled developments.The assessment met all of the new federal requirements of the Resident Opportunities and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) grant for which the agency is applying. The survey focused on 3 main categories: policy change, wrap around service focus areas, and environmental changes.This assessment will help the agency review and restructure priorities, determine improvement areas, and identify any unmet needs, and gaps in access to community resources.

Elderly disabled developments that participated in the survey were City View Towers, Francis Gatehouse, Belvidere Heights, Centralville Gardens, and South Common Village. Approximately 23% of residents responded to the survey. The top four areas of interest in order of rank were saving money (29%), eliminating debt (25%), increasing income (21%) and getting a job (25%). Residents listed that having a disability (34 %) followed by access to adequate transportation as the two most prominent barriers to getting and keeping work. Also noteworthy, residents were overwhelmingly interested in additional training to develop computer skills.

The LHA is committed to data-driven decision-making and will be using the survey results to guide resident service policy making. Strides have been made in several of the areas of interest through some of the Authority’s established programs, such as Tech Savvy Seniors and partnerships with agencies such as Office of Economic Empowerment, who will be leading Economic Empowerment for Seniors workshops at each of the developments this Fall. The LHA would like to extend its gratitude to residents who completed the survey as it will help shape future policies and strengthen our resident services program.