, Salem, MA

Local News

January 14, 2013

Housing officials react to governor's regionalization proposal


The Peabody board is not involved when it comes to hiring staff or deciding who gets housing. Decisions are made fairly, said Dakos, who praised Executive Director Ann Marie Burns, who earns $92,840 a year.

The Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, a membership association of local housing authorities, community development agencies, and housing and redevelopment officials, issued a statement Thursday rejecting Patrick’s proposal and offering to file a bill of “sweeping” reforms to improve cost efficiency “without sacrificing the long-standing tradition of local control and decision-making.”

“Each community is different,” said Susan Bonner, chairwoman of the Nahant Housing Authority, in the same prepared statement. “Nahant is different from Lynn; Lynn is different from Marblehead and Swampscott. We’re not going to be well-served by someone who is somewhere else.”

“We are overseers,” Dakos said. “Everything is transparent. We know where the money is going.”

Dakos said the Peabody board receives monthly financial statements. Dakos receives a $1,555 stipend as a member.

“I just don’t think a regionally run housing authority is going to fix any problems,” said Carla King, chairwoman of the Danvers Housing Authority. “When you have a board that is from the town, knows the town, loves the town, they are going to make sure the properties are run well.”

Besides, the Danvers Housing Authority isn’t broken, King said.

“The units are well-maintained, and units that become vacant are turned over quickly for the next tenants,” King said in an email. “We have reserves that we use to care for our buildings. We have a director that is willing to work with the larger community to build more affordable housing.”

Cindy Dunn, the executive director of the Danvers Housing Authority, said she was surprised by the timing of the introduction of the bill, but had heard rumblings through the state association about such reforms.

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