The Massachusetts Housing Partnership has honored Jennifer Raitt with one of its Housing Hero Awards for her dedication to affordable and fair housing during her many years of public service and for the last six years with the Town of Arlington.
Raitt received the award June 8 in a virtual awards ceremony at MHP’s 15th Housing Institute, a two-day training conference for local officials and volunteers. MHP is a state organization that uses bank funds and other capital sources to support and finance affordable housing. Each year, it recognizes communities and individuals for excellence in affordable housing.
“Your expertise in both housing policy and planning are key to move housing forward in ways that strive to repair past and present harms,” said Laura Shufelt, MHP’s community assistance director, in a June 15 news release
“We have always seen you as a leading voice on fair housing, and people like you are crucial as we move forward efforts to build homes for people in Massachusetts and around the country.”
Raitt has spent most of her career in planning and community development, including six years for the Town of Amesbury, nine years at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and her most recent stint as Arlington’s planning and community development director.
For the first time since 2012, the Arlington Housing Authority (AHA) is actively seeking to either build or acquire existing property in town to add more units to its housing portfolio. The AHA is the town’s largest provider of public housing.
Executive Director Jack Nagle told the board during the monthly meeting May 19 that state funding for a special-needs housing development, called Chapter 689 -- first discussed nearly 17 years ago -- may still be available.
“I’m reaching out to the state and trying to get some information related to how to get this moving,” Nagle said. “There is some bonded funding attached to this project – a little over $2 million.”
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