Rep. Garlick Delivers Support for Needham Residents of Public Housing
- Needham, MA At the Regular Select Board Meeting of Tuesday September 26, 2023, State Representative Denise Garlick gave a legislative report that outlined millions of dollars of State revenue for Needham.
She also featured a small $75,000.- expenditure to support the Residents of Public Housing in the upgrade of the Community Center at the Needham Housing Authority property in the High Rock neighborhood. There are two community buildings, one at 164 Linden Street, used for storage, but with plans to return to community utilization, and the other at 5 Chambers Street, which was subjected to a house cleaning by a previous temporary interim Executive Director.
This support is in some way an attempt to empower the Residents in a time when the demographics tell us that there are more elderly in need and fewer health care workers available. The Needham Housing Authority (NHA) has contracts and arrangements with Springwell, a health care services corporation, plus local entities, such as, Center at the Heights, Community Council, Health Department, and others. At this juncture, however, the Springwell staffer has moved on with no replacement. And the NHA social service coordinator, who only works three days a week, and not all of that at Linden/Chambers/High Rock has been out sick. The turnover of staff, and the ever changing management styles that we get with each new executive director (seven in ten years), has led the Residents to attempt to organize a Tenant Association for the sake of their own stability. Residents are also seeking to voice their opinions and influence what's going on, especially with regards to regular maintenance, which is lacking, and the latest redevelopment proposals, which are considered both a threat and a blessing.
Involving the residents of public housing is crucial in maintaining, or reestablishing a suitable and appropriate a quality of life for the residents. Any plan that includes the resident renters as participants in their future, is more likely to prove agreeable.