Monday, August 9, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Franklin Housing Authority

Board Members
The following Officers were duly elected at the annual organizational meeting of the Franklin Housing Authority held on June 18, 2020.
  • George A. Danello, Chairman 
  • Christopher K. Feeley, Vice Chairperson 
  • Diane Padula, Treasurer
  • Peter L. Brunelli, Assistant Treasurer 
  • Andrew M. Kepple, Commissioner

FHA Staff
  • Lisa Audette, Executive Director 
  • Candice Day, Administrative Assistant 
  • Carole Blanchard, Office Assistant
  • Michael Gilligan, Maintenance Supervisor 
  • Frank McAvoy, Maintenance Laborer 
  • James Brunelli, Groundskeeper/Laborer 
  • Julia Schneiderman, Service Coordinator

Former Commissioner Teehan
Mark A. Teehan was placed on the Franklin Housing Authority Board in 2007 by the Governor as the State Appointee. Mr. Teehan attended nearly every single Board meeting since his appointment, completed the MassNAHRO Board Training and Certification and served on the RCAT Committee. Not only did he become a great advocate for public housing and for the population we serve, he also became a friend. We greatly appreciate his expertise and guidance during his13 years of service.

New State Appointee
Governor Charlie Baker appointed Attorney Andrew M. Kepple to the Franklin Housing Authority Board. Mr. Kepple not only lives in Franklin but also works in our town at the highly regarded office of Doherty, Dugan, Cannon, Raymond & Weil, P.C. Attorney Kepple has concentrated his practice in the area of landlord-tenant law, civil litigation and employment law. We welcome Attorney Kepple to the Board and look forward to working with him for the betterment of our residents and properties.

Dealing with COVID -19
As the pandemic reared its’ ugly head in the spring of 2020, Franklin Housing Authority aggressively began cleaning and sterilizing all public areas within our developments for the protection of our residents. While many businesses shut down, we remained in place to support our residents and maintain as much stability as possible during the very frightening and uncharted months of unusual turmoil. While we are not out of danger yet, we see light at the end of the tunnel with hopes of vaccines and the decline of positive cases. Much appreciation to Representative Jeff Roy for providing us with ‘impossible to find’ face coverings for our residents during this time. He played a very crucial part in keeping our resident from contracting or spreading this virus. Thanks to our residents for listening to the Governors’ warnings and guidance during this time. It brought many months of loneliness to many of our seniors but the stamina of their compliance kept us safe. Much thanks to our maintenance department for continuing to respond to emergency work orders throughout the pandemic and maintain the buildings and property in a safe manner. Also, office staff adjusted their schedules and work environment to maintain as much continuity as possible. It has not been easy for any them or their families. Their service is highly commendable. Lastly, the unwavering support of Chairman Danello and the FHA Board Members cannot go unnoticed. Board Members were readily available for any need of the agency and always looking out for the best interest of our staff and residents. Their remarkable awareness and action throughout has demonstrated their commitment to the agency. We are very fortunate.

Modernization of the Franklin Housing Authority Properties
A Contract for Financial Assistance from the Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) for the purpose of repairing components of the aged agency for their fiscal year ending June 30, 2020 was awarded to the FHA. Several projects were completed using this very timely and important funding including support beam repairs, fire alarm system and sewer line replacement. Completed projects for this fiscal year exceeded $250, 000.

High Leverage Asset Preservation Program (HILAPP) 
The Department of Housing and Community Development offered a modernization program for Housing Authorities that are able to acquire funding through another source other than DHCD. In collaboration with the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT), whose mission is to foster the availability of low income homes within the Town of Franklin and National Grid, FHA was able to obtain a grant through this program with funds pledged by MAHT and National Grid. This project renovated 40 units of senior/disabled housing. The project included window and flooring replacement, bathroom & kitchen upgrades, exterior and storm door replacement, site lighting and painting. The HILAPP project is now complete. Many, many thanks to Chairman, Christopher Vericker and all the Members of Franklin’s Municipal Affordable Housing Trust for their generous contribution that qualified Franklin Housing Authority for this project grant.

FHA Property
The Franklin Housing Authority manages 161 units of State Aided Elderly/Disabled Housing, 33 units of low income Family Housing and two, 8-unit Group Homes. 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 additional support.

Franklin Housing Authority also owns two single family homes and one duplex in Franklin. These properties are reserved for lease to low-income persons and afford these families the opportunity to live in a residential neighborhood for an affordable rent.

Managing Agent for Norfolk Housing Authority
Franklin Housing Authority has been contracted to manage the Norfolk Housing Authority. By taking on this agreement, we increase the FHA/NHA housing stock by an additional 84 units of public housing. Norfolk is very close logistically and has been the ‘little brother’ to Franklin for many years. We see this opportunity as a benefit to our new Norfolk residents and financially beneficial to both agencies. We look forward to working at the Norfolk Housing Authority and with the NHA Board Members to maintain the beautiful, safe and affordable housing in the Town of Norfolk.

Special Events Noted with Appreciation
Franklin Rotarians planned the third annual Valentine’s Breakfast in February for our senior residents and for seniors throughout the town. This is a rare opportunity for our residents to enjoy a wonderful homemade breakfast with pancakes, eggs and all the delicious breakfast meats, pastries and fruits. Rotarians made this enjoyable Valentine’s breakfast even more special by giving each senior a Valentine gift. Fun was had by all. We hope to enjoy future Valentine breakfast feasts with the generous Franklin Rotarians.

Rotary Club members planned their annual pasta dinner to FHA residents and area seniors complete with all the fixings. Unfortunately, this dinner was not able to take place due to the COVID-19. Rotary members continue to brainstorm ways they can provide meals to our residents during the difficult time. Rotarians always are welcome by the residents and the smiles and the kind words of appreciation linger for many months. Much thanks to the Rotarians.

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, for continuous support and comfort in the time of need and always.
Chairman Tom Mercer and all of the Franklin Town Council Members, Town Administrator, Jamie Hellen and their staff for their continued support and assistance. Best wishes to former Administrator Jeff Nutting for a healthy and prosperous retirement.
Chairman Christopher Vericker and all Franklin’s Municipal Affordable Housing Trust members for their generous donation in support of our senior housing units. Also, thanks for having a similar goal as FHA in providing affordable housing to people of lower income.
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, Police Chief Lynch and the entire Franklin Police Department for continuous concern, attention and response to the needs of the Authority and its Residents.
Franklin Fire and Rescue, Chief James McLaughlin, Deputy Chief James Glich and Deputy Chief Joseph BarBieri and their Department are always professional and respectful when assisting our residents during a medical time of need.
Senator Karen Spilka, Senator Rebecca Rausch and Representative Jeffery Roy for their relentless support of the Housing Programs and Bills with the best interest of our town and residents at heart. Also, a huge thank you to Representative Roy for providing our resident with a supply of face covering masks during the pandemic. At the time of need when masks were no where to be found, Rep. Roy came to the rescue.
Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito for support of Massachusetts public housing.
Norfolk County Sherriff’s Department and Sherriff Jerome McDermott for including FHA in their inmate community service program, their professionalism during evictions and their support of the Franklin Housing Authority.
Franklin Food Pantry and Executive Director Lynn Calling for the support of the residents of Franklin Housing Authority. Also, much appreciation for locating pickups in the most convenient places for our residents to manage.
Saint Mary’s Church, Friends of Franklin and Saint Vincent de Paul for supporting our residents during exceptional times of need.

Through the years, the Franklin community and the housing authority find ways to improve the quality of life for our area seniors, disabled persons and low-income families. With the support of the Commissioners and the community, the Franklin Housing Authority continues to be a wonderful, safe and affordable community housing opportunity.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa M. Audette, 
Executive Director, PHM, MCPPO 

The full Annual Report for 2020 can be found online

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Franklin Housing Authority
Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Franklin Housing Authority

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