Jul 26, 2014

TELL US: Abolish the Woburn Housing Authority?

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

TELL US: Abolish the Woburn Housing Authority?


The Woburn Housing Authority, one of 240 public housing authorities across Massachusetts, would all but vanish as part of what is 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.

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 governemnt. But would it also mean less local say and control over public housing in Woburn? Does that matter to you? What could and should change if control is transferred to regional offices?

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