Season’s Greetings from the Executive Director

Holiday Graphic 2018

Dear Friends,

As the LHA approaches the end of another year of providing affordable housing and supportive services for our residents, we have taken the time to reflect upon our efforts in 2018.  This year, the agency focused on a number of initiatives designed to strengthen our team, expand housing choice, rebrand the agency, and engage our residents. We would like to take the opportunity to share our work with you as we look forward to another year.

In 2018, the agency upheld a commitment through a Board resolution to conduct more effective outreach in the Acre neighborhood in fostering employment opportunities for residents. The agency hired three residents from the Acre, along with three additional maintenance employees to further the LHA’s commitment to the neighborhood and encourage team diversity.  The Learning Zone after-school program students were also greeted by a new face this fall in Steven Doung. Once a participant of the Learning Zone, Steven, is now the LHA’s North Common Village program manager.

While teambuilding was occurring inside the walls of the Executive Office, our residents were busy building teams of their own.  The agency is pleased to welcome two new Tenant Councils to the Authority, including Belvidere Heights and North Common Village. This December, the agency also brought aboard, Joanie Bernes, the LHA’s new tenant council representative to our Board of Commissioners. We look forward to the many contributions all of our Tenant Council’s and Commissioner Bernes will make, working on behalf of LHA residents.

It was a busy year for our Division of Leased Housing Department! In May, the LHA was awarded over $400k in grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Grants included $285K in funding for Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH), which provided 28 Vouchers to assist Lowell veterans, and an Emergency Safety and Security grant, which afforded the agency the opportunity to fund more sophisticated security cameras at our properties. This fall, we opened our State, Housing Choice, Mainstream, and Lowell Rental Assistance Program Vouchers waiting list for the first time in six years.  A special thanks to Tha Chhan, Director of Leased Housing Programs and our staff for seamlessly accepting applications, furthering housing choice within the community.

Rebranding and resident engagement were a priority this year. To continue the agency’s rebranding, we finished installing our new signs at each of our properties.  The LHA also unwrapped an early present this year with the launch of the agency’s new website. This six-month endeavor culminated in a site which blends style with functionality, and purpose. The site was designed with special attention paid to our applicants and residents, to provide our audiences with an engaging and user-friendly experience. More bells and whistles will follow in the coming year, as we strive to find new ways to engage our audiences.

Thank you to Robert McMahon, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and the Board, residents and our dedicated community partners for another year of support. A special thanks to Commissioner Patricia Sullivan Talty, who will be leaving the Board at the end of the year. Thank you for your service and we wish you happy retirement. We look forward to collaborating with you again next year to continue to deliver more than just a safe, decent place to call home. We wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season!

Sincerely,

 

 

Gary K. Wallace

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