Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Live reporting: Housing and Transitional Assistance

a. Housing Authority - Lisa Audette, Executive Director, Franklin Housing Authority

MA GL 121 B
regulated and partially funded by the State

elderly and disabled housing
4 units of congregate housing
2 and 3 bedroom, 33 units
2 dept of developmental services, 16 units of housing
3 other properties obtained to bring in 3 more units of affordable housing

State owns the application waiting list, local can view but State owns the listing
application time stamped once entered into system

applications available at Housing Authority or online at the State

eligibility requirements for elderly and handicapped housing

HUD low income standards change every two years
many fall below the listing due to Boston market rates

current waiting list over 3500 for Franklin
1075 for 1 bedroom, 100+ emergency status

172 on waiting listing for congregate housing

2500 (468 emergency) for family applications

there is not enough housing in Franklin, in MA or in our country

Q - can you explain more about the financing
A - surplus agency, covered by rents taken in
modernization money comes from the State
Affordable Housing Trust provided a grant to leverage other funding
to completely renovate the units at Central Park Terrace

Q - can we expand housing?
A - we are always looking for additional housing but the State has no money
encouraging comments from the Governor
can not afford to build a complex on our own

Q - can't you stay on the Franklin listing?
A - the code says no, once housed, no longer on the listing - they are better off than someone without

Q - Do they remain on the listing?
A - when housed, loose the emergency priority, they remain on the listing but not with emergency status

Q - could the St Mary's school be used?
A - we did re-purpose the Metcalf School for housing

Q - thanks for all the work you do, victims of domestic violence get a priority, that is good
A - a lot of people need help

Central Park Terrace, first built in 1960
expanded in 1965; up on the hill expanded, in 1975 with wheelchair units

Metcalf School, Winter St
Family units - 28 north, west, and east Park St opened in 1948

family development on Walnut Ave

Eaton Place not part of the Housing Authority

"Everyone needs to be reminded of the work you do"
housing is not affordable

turnover about 20/units/year

do have a service coordinator, one day/week to help residents
loophole with categorization on disability counting once reaching 60, they become a 'senior' but likely haven't lost their disability

Q - do you cover Sec 8?
A - Sec 8 wasn't accepted in Franklin when it was authorized

a quick plug that the CPA proposal can provide some help, our issue won't be solved with one project, or one check
we are over the 10% on 40B, it is not enough we do need to do more
March 4, EDC meeting will begin review of some bylaw changes to help with affordable housing

b. Transitional Assistance Discussion - Franklin Senior Center

Karen Alves, Erin Rogers
14 households assisted in past year for homeless, declined somewhat

landlord issues

Dept of Transition Assistance (DTA)

each shelter takes applications directly, (no central routing/fulfillment agency)
shelters won't take folks who are taking substances, alcohol or other

3 churches are collaborating in Milford for weather related shelters
most folks don't want to go to a shelter

Section 8 is also a lengthy waiting list

Q - is there a mechanism for landlords? to take someone on a voucher, the education required
A - yes, we would like to help coordinate that

Q - where do they go for something like fuel assistance?
A - come to the Senior Center, we have the listing of what they need
often by coming in, for one, they find out what else we can do for them

St Vincent DePaul
186 families served in 2019, clothing, resources
(copy of doc handed out to be added later)

categories of 

  1. transient
  2. known homeless
  3. soon to be homeless

Lynn Calling, Exec Dir, Franklin Food Pantry
6000 visits to the pantry in 2019, an increase over 2018
no funding from town or State
March 2 tour at the Pantry, if you can't make it, call so we can set up a time

Kim, New England Chapel
services available in Milford area, "Pathway to a better life"
3 churches open on a rotating basis
open at 30 degrees, Northbridge does same thing
could do the same thing here in Franklin, could get grants for assistance
Milford Police will bring the folks to the shelter when open

not a town sanctioned group, but could not have been done without their coordination

social services stake holder meeting?
we did it a year ago, have attended interfaith council meeting

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