Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


March 13, 2014

Housing Authority wins $137K in grants

The Andover Housing Authority recently learned it will be receiving nearly $140,000 in state grants to make improvements to some of its properties.

According to Christine Metzemaekers, executive director of the AHA, the grants will be used for a variety of projects, including energy sustainability projects and health and safety improvements at some of the authority’s 282 units of public housing.

The state office of Housing and Community Development announced on Feb. 24 that it was providing almost $11 million to housing authorities across the state to “improve, preserve and reoccupy” state-funded housing units.

The capital funding will be used for a number of initiatives, including supporting repairs required to get current vacant units back online, creating more accessible units for persons with disabilities and preserving the current housing stock by making the units more sustainable, according to a press release issued by the state.

“Affordable public housing is in high demand across the state,” Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Aaron Gornstein said. “These additional dedicated funds will provide local housing authorities with new tools and funding to extend the life of our current housing stock and also more quickly house seniors and families looking for affordable housing.”

The various types of funding awarded to 170 housing authorities include:

$3.6 million in sustainability funds to upgrade building components in order to save energy and water. Andover will be getting $110,000 of that, with $100,000 going toward siding for Stowe Court and another $10,000 for boiler repairs at Grand View Terrace.

Metzemaekers said Stowe Court was built in 1985 and hasn’t been re-sided since then. She said the new siding will improve energy efficiency while also making the property more attractive.

“A lot of our property is older,” she said. “We get funding sources from wherever we can to make them look nicer.”

$4.1 million in health and safety funds have been doled out to reduce site and common area hazards that could pose a danger to residents. Andover got $27,200 under that program, with the money earmarked for Memorial Circle, to remove old fencing for laundry line enclosures as well as to remove hot-top used in the laundry-hanging areas.

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