The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 18, 2010

Housing Coordinator position created

At Town Meeting May 10, voters agreed to staff a Housing Coordinator position by using up to $50,000 in Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds collected by the town and designated for housing. This position replaces the Administrative and Housing Authority Coordinator, and is staffed by the same person, Elizabeth Barnett. According to Town Administrator Tim Goddard, the change was recommended by the Structural Financial Planning Committee (SFP) as one of several proposals for reducing the town’s operating budget long term. The previous position was paid for under the operating budget, but the new position will be proposed each year for funding by the CPA. It takes effect July 1.

The new position retains the housing duties of the old, but no longer includes support for the Town Administrator. Instead, Barnett will provide housing support to the Council on Aging. This will include helping residents facing foreclosures and managing fuel assistance. “This was done by the COA staff,” says Goddard. “But there are only two people, and there’s more and more of a need.” Barnett will help residents of any age with a housing concern, but the greatest need is among seniors.

Specific housing duties will include administrative support services for the Housing Authority, assistance in the implementation of the Affordable Housing Production Plan, assistance with affordable housing request for proposals and other project documents and coordinating review by the public and other town boards and departments. Barnett also assists in preparing and reviewing proposed bylaw and regulatory amendments related to affordable housing.

Other recommendations of the SFP committee are also in the works, says Goddard. A committee is being formed to examine regionalizing some areas of town government. In addition, Goddard is looking closely at the organization of town departments, including operating hours, staffing and workload. Later in the year, he will make some recommendations that might include task sharing, coordinated hours or other cost-saving moves. “The goal is to make Town Hall more efficient and more responsive to service needs,” he says. ∆

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