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Affordable Housing Committee Minutes 02/04/2013

Lenox Affordable Housing Committee & Trustees Joint Meeting
February 4, 2013

Committee Members present:  Kate McNulty-Vaughan (KMV), Ellen Jacobson (EJ), Debbie Burke  (DB) and Olga Weiss (OW).  Trustees present:  Kate McNulty-Vaughan (KMV), Ellen Jacobson (EJ), Debbie Burke  (DB)  and Olga Weiss (OW).  Committee Members absent:  Jo Anne Magee (JAM) and Trustees absent: Jo Anne Magee (JAM) and Jackie McNinch (JM).

Also in attendance: Mary Albertson (MA), Town Planner.  

EJ served as Chair.  The meeting was opened at 4:05 PM.  


KMV made a motion to approve the January 14, 2013 minutes of the Joint Meeting of the Housing Committee and Trustees with corrections. OW seconded the motion and the vote was 4-0 to approve.

Proposed Legislation Regarding Housing Authorities

EJ offered an overview of the proposed legislation.  Legislation has been filed that calls for local housing authorities to be abolished and replaced with six regional housing authorities.  The new housing authorities would be appointed by the Governor.  The proposed legislation calls for the privatization of state properties.  

EJ said she discussed this matter with Martha Joyner, Director of the Lenox Housing Authority.  Ms. Joyner advised EJ that she has talked to State Representative Smitty Pignatelli.  He advised Ms. Joyner that he does not support this legislation and believes that the current proposal does not have majority support.  He advised Ms. Joyner that he will be monitoring this proposal and reporting back on modifications.  EJ said Ms. Joyner advised that calls to action are premature, but to monitor the situation and be prepared to act if necessary.  

Discussion ensued regarding this legislation.  It is likely that this legislation is a result of failed housing authorities in the Boston metropolitan area.  KMV is very concerned about the privatization of housing authorities.  EJ advised that she will be attending the Lenox Housing Authority Meeting tomorrow.  OW made a motion to have EJ report to the Housing Authority that Lenox Affordable Housing Committee and Trustees are eager to learn more about this topic.  For now, we would like to register our lack of confidence in the recently proposed legislation concerning changes I the governance of Housing Authorities in Massachusetts.  KMV seconded the motion and the vote was 4-0 to approve.   

Sub-Committee Reports:

Public Relations

EJ is disappointed that not all the information has been added to the website.  KMV suggested a follow-up meeting with Claudie Duby to finalize information and instructions for entering information on the Town website.

Mortgage Program

Since JAM and JM were absent – the formal report was tabled.  KMV noted that JAM and JM will make the presentation to Community Preservation Committee regarding the FY’14 proposal for an ownership grant program.  The presentation will be February 11, 2013at 7:00 PM.  KMV will contact JAM to remind her of the presentation.  

Sawmill Brook

This matter was tabled.  

The next meeting will be Monday – March 4, 2013 @ 4:00 PM.  KMV will serve as Chair.

MA asked if there were any comments regarding the draft Town Report.  KMV suggested that a couple sentences by added regarding Connie Kruger’s Peer-to-Peer report.  MA will add this information and submit the Town Report.  

DB made a motion to adjourn at 5:10 PM.  KMV seconded the motion and the vote was 4-0 to approve.  

Respectfully Submitted,
Mary Albertson, Town Planner

Approved:   4/1/13

Lenox Town Hall  6 Walker Street, Lenox, MA 01240   PH: (413) 637-5500