Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Developments Ramps up Essential Services During Crisis

Executive Director Charles Gaeta, and the Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood De­velopment Board of Directors and staff (LHAND) are com­mitted to fully serving the City of Lynn during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Executive Director Gaeta had ensured a continuity of LHAND current program­ming and has initiated the incep­tion and expansion of new and targeted programming. While the LHAND offices aren’t cur­rently open to the public, critical and essential work continues and LHAND staff remain available to answer questions. Executive Director Gaeta commends the entire LHAND workforce for its dedication to the community. “LHAND’s staff has been com­ing to work each and every day, and have gone over and beyond their traditional roles to make sure that our tenants, program participants and landlords are getting the assistance and sup­port that they need. In the midst of uncertainty, my staff has been a bedrock and I am grateful to them for all that they do.”

LHAND has joined with May­or McGee and the City of Lynn, in a task force aimed at pulling together the City’s greatest re­source, its wide array of social service providers. That group, with representatives from the Lynn Continuum of Care, GLSS, Lynn Shelter Association, LEO and many others, are culling the most recent announcements and emergency resources to stream­line messaging to their vari­ous constituencies. The goal of the task force is to ensure that no family will fall through the cracks.

As the largest housing provid­er in the City of Lynn, LHAND is working hard to protect its residents, many of whom are vulnerable to the more devas­tating effects of the virus, from contracting it. To that end, it has been in constant contact with its residents around everything from safety precautions to assistance securing food. LHAND is work­ing diligently to extend and ex­pand all resources at its disposal to keep the residents and greater community safe.

The following comprises an ever expanding list of direct and in direct services being offered:

State & Federal Public Hous­ing:

• Regular communication with all residents in State and Federal Public housing through leaflets, phone calls, social media and the LHAND website (www.lhand.org). These communications range from offers of assistance with necessities, to updates from our state and federal government.

• LHAND has a drop box at Caggiano Plaza for documents needed from residents.

• LHAND is maintaining a staff presence in all offices to communicate with residents via email and telephone.

• LHAND is sanitizing all its properties daily, with the highest trafficked areas being cleaned multiple times per day.

Rental Assistance – Section 8 State & Federal

• The office remains closed to the public until further notice.   

• All in person meetings are postponed until further notice.

• RA staff continue to be acces­sible by phone, email andpostal mail.

• Documents can be left in a drop box at 174 South Common Street during regular business hours (Mon – Thurs 8AM – 4PM & Fridays 8AM -12:30). This is a drop box only, please under­stand that staffmay be in the of­fice however unable tomeet with tenants and landlords.

• Tenants and landlords are encouraged to communicate by email.

• Landlord payments are on schedule.

• Inspections continue to be done on vacant units.

• Terminations of program­matic assistance and hearings have been postponedfor at least 60 days.

Emergency Assistance & Pro­gramming

• LHAND has joined a task force with Mayor McGee, the City of Lynn’s Health Depart­ment Director as well as GLYSS and the Lynn Shelter to seek im­mediate solutions to the growing crisis, and have partnered with Lynn service providers to pool staff time and resources aimed at providing a range of assistance to vulnerable populations.

• LHAND hasreceived a grant from the United Way to provide emergency funding to families impacted by the pandemic.

• RAFT/Emergency Assis­tance funds will continue to be made available to families fac­ing housing insecurity and ad­ditionally thoseimpacted by the economic ramifications of the pandemic. This includes fami­lies who may be behind on rent, mortgage, utilities or have need of funds to assist with moving.

• The Family Success Cen­ter is accepting RAFT intakes through https://www.waitlist­check.com/MA2977-1918 and also accessible through the

LHAND website and the Fam­ily Success Center Facebook page. Additional information is available from the Family Suc­cess Center by calling (339) 883-2342 or by [email protected]

• United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley an­nounced it has distributed fund­ing from its COVID-19 Family Support Fund to Lynn Housing and Neighborhood Development to provide flexible emergency fi­nancial assistance to families in Lynn.

• All United Way programs offered through LHAND are operational. In particular where financial coaching for budget­ing purposes is crucial at a time like this, and can be a challenge to many, LHAND is working on a remote curriculum for such clients. Miriam Martinez can be contacted at: [email protected]

• Natural Gas assistance pro­gram is available to assist con­sumers who are facing shut off This is for Natural Gas ONLY. Contact [email protected]

The Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development are grateful to its staff and communi­ty partners for coming together in the midst of this pandemic. While the agency’s operations continue to expand to serve households impacted by the crisis, it asks the public for patience as it pulls the resources together to make the greatest impact. Please check the LHAND and City Of Lynn web­sites for updated information.

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