Governor's Proposal All But Abolishes Waltham Housing Authority. What Do You Think?

Doing away with local housing boards is Gov. Patrick's idea for slashing public housing cost and corruption. Do you think that's a good idea?

The Waltham Housing Authority, one of 240 public housing authorities across Massachusetts, would all but vanish as part of a proposal from Gov. Deval Patrick to streamline public housing management operations.

The purpose of local housing authorities is to manage and maintain subsidized housing and, often, to advocate for affordable housing for lower-income residents.

The administration reportedly estimates the consolidation would save more than $10 million a year in salaries and administrative costs.

According to the Boston Globe, while Gov. Patrick's proposal would centralize public housing management into six regional ­offices, a small number of managers and maintenance workers would remain at local housing author­ities.

And, says the Globe, cutting local boards would would do away with the need for more than 1,000 politically appointed commissioners.

A press release from the governor's says this about local input:

Underscoring the critical role that local communities play in supporting public housing, the legislation allows communities to retain control over land use and significant redevelopment decisions including change of use, ownership or the financing structure of an existing building or vacant land. RHAs will also be required to seek local input into an annual plan that outlines projected capital and operating expenditures and tenant participation activities. 

The consolidation move comes in the wake of troubling corruption scandals uncovered by the Globe, which were partly possible because holding hundreds of separate housing authorities accountable is a management challenge.

What we know so far of the governor's proposal sounds like a move toward more accountable, efficient government. But would it also mean less local say and control over public housing in Waltham? Does that matter to you? What could and should change if control is transferred to regional offices?

moe howard January 11, 2013 at 11:49 AM
The idea will eliminate jobs. These people have families. I thought the democrats were for the working class??? Why not do something about EBT and welfare fraud!
charles jacob January 11, 2013 at 05:41 PM
I am a Democrat but I am not a huge fan of deval at all. I think this is a horrible idea. Hes cutting jobs and this will let the projects across mass. Become delapidated than they already are. As it is there are alot of units to not enough maintenance workers. Life in the projects has been getting better and these buildings were becoming more modernized and clean, you can thank the hard work of the local housing authorities for that. I just think it will turn our descent enough projects to the trashy looking projects of Chicago or new York.


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