Town of Southwick, Massachusetts
454 College Highway, Southwick, MA 01077
Report of the Housing Authority
MEMBERS:                                                                                          
        

Name
Position
Term Expires
ROBERT K. JOHNSON
Chairman & State Appt.
2008
JEFFREY L.  GURNEY
Vice Chairman
2009
JOAN M. HAGAN
Treasurer
2013
SYLVAIN P. THIBAULT
CPC Representative
2012
KAREN F. REED
Member
2010
                
ABOUT THE AUTHORITY:

The purpose of the Southwick Housing Authority is to determine public housing needs for persons of low income, to develop such housing, and to manage public housing programs under its jurisdiction within the Town of Southwick.  In the absence of a redevelopment agency in Southwick, the Authority shall also act as the town's redevelopment authority when there is a specific need for redevelopment activity.  The Authority consists of a board of 5 members – four elected in town elections and one appointed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Southwick Housing Authority was established at the annual town meeting on 16 March 1970.  The Commonwealth of Massachusetts issued the charter for the Authority on 24 July 1970.  It is a separate corporation from the Town of Southwick, similar to the Regional School District.  The Authority and its tenants receive services from the town in the same manner as other businesses and town residents.  In recognition of those services the Authority pays to the Town payments in lieu of property taxes and water and sewage fees at the standard rates.  

The Authority is funded by the rents it receives and by grants received from the Commonwealth and the Federal Government.  Rents cover day-to-day operations, and grants are used to fund major repairs and renovations.  By state law, 10% of Southwick's Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds must be used to help provide affordable community housing.  Such funds are used by the Authority on a project-by-project basis when approved by the town meeting.  The Authority has decided to use CPA funds to make existing public housing more affordable to the tenants by increasing their energy efficiency.
                                        
MEETINGS:

Regular meetings are normally held at 5:00 PM on the third Wednesday of each month in the activity room of the Depot Court project, 12 Depot Street, Southwick, MA.  The regular meeting for the month of May is normally the annual meeting of the Authority.  Special meetings are held as required.  All meetings are posted at least 48 hours in advance on the town bulletin board at the Town Clerk’s Office.

ADMINISTRATION:


Executive Director  
Henry C. Engelhardt III
Administrative Assistant
Phylis Petronino
Office Address        
12 Depot Street
                                           
Southwick, MA 01077
Office Phone          
569-3161

TENANTS ASSOCIATION


President
Martha Brennan
                                           
Apt #22, Fred Ahrend Circle
Southwick, MA
Tenant Association meetings are held at 1:30 PM on the third Friday of each month in the activity room of the Depot Court housing project, 12 Depot Street, Southwick, MA.

REPORT:

The authority manages the following housing programs:

515/Section 8 - This federally-aided public housing program provides 40 apartments for elderly and handicapped persons at Fred Ahrend Circle.  They are owned by the Southwick-Granville Senior Citizens Housing Corporation, and managed by the Southwick Housing Authority on a no-fee basis.  The project has 30 one-bedroom apartments for the elderly, 6 two-bedroom apartments for the elderly, and 4 two-bedroom apartments for the handicapped.  To be eligible for housing at this project, the household of the applicant must have no more than three members, have one or more members of the household who is at least 62 years of age or handicapped, and have a gross household income not greater than $41,450.00 (for a single person) per year.  The rent charged is 30% of the net household income, and utilities are included in the rent.

Chapter 667-l - This state-aided public housing program provides 48 apartments for elderly and handicapped persons at 12-16 Depot Street.  The project has 44 apartments for the elderly and 4 apartments for the handicapped.  To be eligible for this program, the household of the applicant must have no more than two members, have one or more members who is at least 60 years of age or handicapped, and have a net income not greater than $41,450.001 per year.  The rent charged is 30% of the net household income, and utilities are included in the rent.

Chapter 689-1 - This state-aided public housing program provides group living for 6 mentally retarded persons at 212 Sheep Pasture Road, Southwick, MA.  The median age of residents is 50 years.  Full-time care for the residents is provided by the Berkshire County Association for Retarded Citizens, Inc. under the supervision of the state Department of Mental Retardation.  To be eligible for this program, the applicant must be mentally retarded, be at least 18 years of age, and have an income not greater than $41,450.001.  You may direct inquiries concerning eligibility and selection for this housing/educational program to the Berkshire County Association for Retarded Citizens, Inc., 395 South Street, PO Box 2, Pittsfield, MA 01202 or call (413) 499-4241.

Chapter 689-2 - This state-aided public housing program provides group living for 8 mentally ill and mentally retarded elderly persons at 18 Depot Street, Southwick, MA.  Full-time care for the residents is provided by the Center for Human Development, Inc. under the supervision of the state Department of Mental Health.  To be eligible for this program, the applicant must be mentally ill, be at least 60 years of age, and have an income not greater than $41,450.001.  You may direct inquiries concerning eligibility and selection for this housing and educational program to the Southwick Project, Westbrook Services, The Mill at Crane Pond,
77 Mill Street, Suite 25, Westfield, MA 01085.  Telephone: 568-6611 or 568-4846.

Chapter 705 - This state-aided public housing program provides 6 units of rental housing for low-income families.  To be eligible for this program, the household of the applicant must have no more than eight members, and have a net income not greater than $59,200 (for a 4-person family) per year.  The rent charged is 27% of the net household income.  Water is included in the rent, but tenants pay all other utilities.

Activities during 2008:  
During 2008 the Authority completed an energy efficiency project using a $55,000.00 grant from Community Preservation Act funds.  The project involved replacement of the single pane windows with energy efficient units in its six low income family dwellings to make them more affordable for low-income tenants. The Authority used the CPA fund grant to leverage an additional $215,000.00 from the state to perform associated lead paint abatement and asbestos removal work. The actual window cost was $52,150.00 so the remaining $2,850.00 returned to the town's CPA fund.

Also during 2008 the Authority: 
  • Completed the conversion of the bathrooms in units specially designed for the handicapped at Depot Court from tubs to roll-in showers.  A grant of $80,000.00 has been provided by the state to support this effort.
  • Completed replacing the roofing and mansards at Depot Court using a $547,000.00 received from the state.
  • Submitted a list of long-term capital needs to the state for inclusion in the state’s plan for repairs and modernization of low income public housing.
    
PLANS FOR 2009
The Authority is planning to use a portion of its share of CPC funds for heating system efficiency and water conservation projects in 2009.  Plans include replacing old heating plants with energy efficient unit and replacing old plumbing fixtures with low-flow ones.  This will be accompanied by improvements in insulation.  It is hoped that the CPC funds will again leverage state funding for associated work.

The Authority is waiting for instructions from the state to apply for a number of paving and modernization projects to be paid for by state funds.