Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board Meets

The City of Revere’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board (AHTFB) held its regular monthly meeting last Wednesday evening (January 11) in the Revere City Council Chambers.

Chairman Joe Gravellese and fellow members Anayo Osueke, Laila Pietri, Deborah Frank, and Jan Dumas were on hand for the meeting.

Gravellese announced that recently-elected City Council President Patrick Keefe will be joining the board as of its next meeting in February.

Gerrit DeYoung, the chair of the Chelsea Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board, presented an overview of what the Chelsea AHTFB has been accomplishing over the past five years.

DeYoung noted that finding the funding for programs presents a large obstacle. He mentioned that some of the programs being undertaken by the Chelsea board include a home improvement program for income-eligible senior citizens.

He also said that the Chelsea group is developing a parcel of land that will entail five-units. He noted that the Chelsea City Council has given the group a $1.5 million grant for the acquisition of other properties.

The members asked DeYoung a host of questions relative to the nuts-and-bolts of grants, loans, and the area median income for applicants.

Tom Skwierawksi, the city’s Chief of Planning and Development who made a lengthy presentation at the board’s December meeting, presented an update to the board regarding the development of a housing production plan and consultative services for the board.

The board then took up a discussion of its goals. Gravallese had sent an email to his colleagues with some proposed goals, which included providing support for low-income seniors and disabled citizens; encouraging and supporting residents who are first-time home buyers who wish to remain in the city; providing assistance to low income, disabled, and senior homeowners who are struggling with the costs of homeownership; and encouraging the preservation and construction of deed-restricted affordable housing for residents at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) through education and advocacy.

Gravallese also brought up the matter of electing officers and appointing various subcommittees.

The board established a Fundraising Subcommittee to which Osueke unanimously was elected the chair.

Dumas was elected the chair of a subcommittee that will be tasked with writing the board’s goals and its mission statement.

The next meeting of the board is set for February.

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