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Local Housing Partnership Group Votes To Disband, Members Submit Resignations

At its Oct. 13 meeting, the Local Housing Partnership members present — Nancy Reed, Jake Brothers, Vincent Fratalia, Greg Peters and Laura Caplan — voted 4 to 0 with one abstention by Brothers to “not continue with” the LHP as it now exists. Reed, Caplan, Fratalia and Peters stated that they will submit their resignations to the Select Board, which established the LHP and appoints members.

Brothers is a new member who was just appointed to the LHP in September. Members Anne Marie Stronach, Melissa Maniscalco and James McMullen were not present at the meeting.

Tewksbury’s Local Housing partnership is charged with developing affordable housing action plans based on housing needs studies; establishing criteria to evaluate affordable housing proposals; making recommendations on the pros and cons of proposals; identifying local, state and federal resources to further development; locating available land suitable for development; reviewing land use regulations and zoning bylaws; working with developers of affordable housing; and increasing public awareness through forums and other public events.

The group had recently sought $30,000 to fund a consultant to assist it in its mission of generating affordable units, but Reed said the group has not received any responses to the RFP and added that she had not heard back from the town on pursuing calls from potential applicants.

The LHP oversees about $5.5 million, collected mainly from fee-in-lieu of requests approved by the Planning Board, that’s earmarked for the town to develop affordable units. However, there are no town-led projects in the works currently. The hope was that a consultant can get some initiatives launched.

How the town can best fulfill the mission of providing affordable housing will likely be a topic of discussion at next week’s Select Board meeting, depending on when resignations land. The Carnation reached out to former chair Reed for comment but has not heard back.

Lorna is a 25-year resident of Tewksbury who has written for organizations ranging from the DIA to InformationWeek to a free weekly in New London that sent her to interview the pastry chef at Foxwoods.

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