Grant funding for Pondview, Carnation Drive and Saunders Circle
The Housing Authority met on Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, with a quorum present; two members were absent.
The minutes of Oct. 16 and Oct. 17, 2023, were approved. On Oct. 17, Housing Authority members attended a Housing Summit convened by the Select Board. There they heard from experts from CTI, a regional housing agency, and NMCOG. They reported that while the town’s population is growing, housing production is not keeping pace. As a result, Tewksbury’s rental vacancy rate is 0%, with home vacancies at .3%.
A “healthy” rental vacancy rate is 5% to 8%, per CTI, while a 2% to 3% rate for homes allows for more price stability. Tewksbury has $6.3 million in its housing trust fund, plus about $1 million in CPA funds available to address the problem. That’s more than most towns, but there are thousands of current residents who are spending more than 30% — and sometimes more than half — their incomes on housing. And Tewksbury has many seniors who may wish to downsize, but often cannot find suitable housing.
Notices from the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (formerly DHCD) were discussed at yesterday’s meeting. Notice 2023-18 references funding ability for Resident Service Coordinators and describes what funding is available and how LHAs can apply for this funding. Notice 2023-19 offers an updated program for Local Housing Authorities to request funds for the transformation of state-aided public housing developments. Notice 2023-20 is a state bid for qualification of accounting firms to conduct audits of Local Housing Authorities.
Executive Melissa Maniscalco reported there is one new unit vacancy on Saunders Circle; another unit on Delaney Drive will be occupied before December 1.
The Delaney Drive shower project has been completed. Formula Grant Funds for FY25 and FY26 will address upgrades at Pondview, Carnation Drive and Saunders Circle. Additional funds of $301,473 have been awarded from the federal ARPA and will let the THA continue updating many of Tewksbury’s housing stock.
The next meeting will be Monday, December 18.