Leominster has a shortage of affordable housing, especially since the pandemic began and people from more densely populated cities were drawn here to have yards and more space. We can help increase the number of affordable homes here by being more strategic with new development and exploring options to upgrade or adapt existing buildings. As Mayor, I would also seek to partner with regional nonprofit organizations and state agencies, such as NewVue Communities and the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund, to leverage opportunities for Gateway Cities. I would also leverage our Community Development Block Grant funds and partner with our state and federal delegation to access assistance for homeowners and landlords that wish to build additional units on preexisting lots (e.g. in-law apartments) that would both increase housing availability and could generate income for the homeowner.
As a region, North Central Massachusetts lacks emergency housing options for those experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. We need to simplify the process of navigating the many programs and resources available for people in need of subsidized housing. For people in need of transitional housing, we need to investigate creative options that other communities are using, such as “Tiny homes” or “Plugin” neighborhoods. Regardless of what causes the need for housing--be it displacement from a fire, escaping domestic violence, or financial hardship, helping people get back on their feet strengthens our community and helps us all move forward. Whether we want to age in our own homes or in a more communal setting, we need to have good options and sufficient support services for the growing percentage of older neighbors. As Mayor, I want seniors and their loved ones to have easy access to good information and the most current resources so seniors can make the choices that work best for them over time. By partnering with the MA Councils on Aging and AARP-Massachusetts, I want to explore options for “inter-generational house-sharing,” which would carefully match younger adults with older housemates to bring the generations closer together and also make housing more affordable, safer, and social for all involved.
Contact Committee to Elect Andrea Freeman 431 Pleasant St, Leominster, MA 01453 (978) 728-3787