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.