Saturday, January 2, 2010

Franklin, MA: Housing Authority

The following Officers were duly elected at the annual organizational meeting of the Franklin Housing Authority held on April 6, 2009.

George A. Danello, Chairman
Christopher K. Feeley, Vice Chairperson
Peter L. Brunelli, Treasurer
Mark A. Teehan, Assistant Treasurer
John R. Padula, Commissioner

Lisa M. Collins, Executive Director
Diane Lamoureux, Administrative Assistant
Melva Jackson, Office Clerk
Michael Gilligan, Maintenance Supervisor
William Pizzi, Laborer
Frank McAvoy, Groundskeeper
Anne Ayotte, Service Coordinator

Modernization of the Franklin Housing Authority

The office of the Franklin Housing Authority was renovated to become compliant with the ADA regulation. This project was partially funded by the Department of Community Development and balance was withdrawn from the restricted reserves from the FHA. The great benefit of the renovation is that applicants and residents who are wheelchair or walker dependant are now able to enter the office. Previously, the office was not wheelchair friendly. The sacrifice made to the building to allow this upgrade was the removal of the laundry facilities from the building. Residents who wish to do their laundry on site must now go to one of the FHA’s three other locations. 

FHA Property

The Franklin Housing Authority manages 161 units of State Aided Elderly/Disabled Housing, 33 units of low income Family Housing and an 8-unit Group Home. Additionally, the Housing Authority is responsible for a four bedroom congregate facility. This program provides a shared living environment for its residents who maintain private bedrooms. Congregate housing was established for residents who are self-reliant, however may need limited support. Also, Franklin Housing Authority owns two single family homes in town. These two properties are reserved for lease to low-income families and affords these families the opportunity to reside in a residential neighborhood.

Additionally, Franklin Housing Authority has been awarded $1,250,000 for the development of an additional Chapter 689 housing facility. Chapter 689 housing is reserved for mentally challenged adults and will be overseen by the Department of Mental Retardation. We have secured a suitable site for this development on Plain Street. Further the designer; Winter Street Architects has been approved and has begun the design phase of this development. This development has been approved through the Town of Franklin Zoning Board of Appeals and the Design Commission. Currently, we are experiencing some delays but hope to begin construction in 2010.

Special Events Noted with Appreciation

Saint Mary’s Parish Youth Organization treated FHA residents to an indoor picnic during the summer. Volunteers and youths along with the pastor spread smiles and good cheer to all. Rotary Club members served their annual spaghetti dinner to FHA residents and area seniors complete with all the fixings. Commissioner John Padula was the head Chef and also provided some entertainment. Rotary members cooked, served, entertained and picked up after. Rotarians always comment that the smiles and the kind words of appreciation received make their time and efforts very rewarding. Students and teachers from the Remington/Jefferson schools, with help and support from the Franklin Police Department and parents of students, provided Christmas gifts for Franklin Housing Authority’s young family members through a Secret Santa program for the ninth year running. This group provides gifts along with Christmas spirit that may otherwise be lost. One Franklin family provided a Franklin Housing Authority low-income family with a wonderful Christmas of gifts specifically selected for the family members. The spirit of the holiday was overwhelming for this family. 

Special Thanks

The Board of Commissioners, Staff and Residents of the Franklin Housing Authority wish to express their thanks and appreciation to the following: 

The Clergy, a continuous support and comfort in the time of need and always.

Franklin Senior Association Members:
Mary Chambers, Vice President
Doris Mattison, Treasurer
Betty Picard, Secretary
Beverly Carroll, Sunshine Club 
Evelyn Mucciarone, Member at Large 

This Association plans pizza parties, holiday gatherings, morning coffee and donuts, card parties and many more events for the enjoyment of all Franklin Seniors. 

Chairman Christopher K. Feeley and all of the Franklin Town Council Members, Town Administrator, Jeffrey Nutting and his staff for their continued support and assistance.

Council on Aging, Veterans Agent, SHINE Program and Food Pantry for assisting residents with health care concerns and working with the Authority to recognize needs and provide activities, nourishment and specialized services. 

Franklin Police Department, Chief Williams and Deputy Chief Semerjian for continuous concern, attention and response to the needs of the Authority and its Residents.

Franklin Fire and Rescue, Chief Gary McCarraher and his department are always professional and respectful.

Franklin TRIAD Committee along with the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Michael Bollotti and his staff for assisting in identifying the safety concerns of Franklin seniors and planning aggressive strategies to enhance the quality of life of older Franklin residents and for the “Are You OK?” program.

Senator Karen Spilka, Senator Scott Brown, Representative James Vallee and U.S. Representative James McGovern for their relentless support of the Housing Programs and Bills with the best interest of our residents at heart.

Boy Scout Troop 126. Under the leadership of Bill Murphy, Eagle Scout Candidates have worked on their community service projects at the Franklin Housing Authority. Many thanks to Troop 126 for thinking of us while planning your Eagle Scout Projects and best wishes to all Eagle Scouts for a successful future.

Through the years, the community and the housing authority are finding ways to improve the quality of life for our area seniors and low income families. With the support of the Commissioners and the community the Franklin Housing Authority continues to be a great community living opportunity.

Respectfully submitted,
Lisa M. Collins, PHM, Executive Director

From the 2009 Town of Franklin Annual Report. This is available in a printed version at the Municipal Building or online at the Town website here.

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