NHA Rushes to Submit Plan to Turn Organization Around
The Natick Housing Authority has less than one week to submit a plan to state Department of Housing and Community Development to pay back debt and fill vacancies.
Natick Housing Authority staff has less than one week to submit a plan to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development to turn around the authority and pay back its $480,000 in debt.
At a meeting of the Natick Housing Authority board of directors Thursday night, NHA director Ed Santos was not in attendance. Assistant director of the NHA, Eileen Merritt, answered board questions and concerns that the plan will not be completed and the authority may go into receivership and be taken over by DHCD.
During the meeting board members did not read over Santos' preliminary plan, saying that it lacked detail and would be unproductive to do so. Jeanne Williamson Ostroff said the text seemed unusually large, as if to make it look like more was completed than was actually the case.
The plan, which must be submitted by Sept. 16, must include information on how the authority will fill vacancies and pay back the debt that is owed. Merritt said she would do her best to have it finished by Wednesday's meeting, but said she could not promise that it will be completed.
In the past month, a 19 percent vacancy rate was reduced to 18 percent, but there is still a long way to go in repairing old units and turning them over to new tenants.
Last week, maintenance supervisor Bill Barnicle announced that he will be resigning at the end of September after 24 years of service.