In this information-packed two-part program, LWVN President Marcia Johnson had a very interesting and enlightening conversation with Lisbeth Heyer, Newton Housing Partnership Chair, and Ted Hess-Mahan, Ward 3 City Councilor-at-Large for 14 years and recent chair of the Joint Advisory Planning Group for the West Newton Armory project.
Ensuring everyone has a safe, affordable home is Lisbeth’s life’s work. She brings more than 35 years of nonprofit and public sector experience in affordable housing development, planning, policy, and advocacy to her service as the Chair of the Newton Housing Partnership. Lizbeth is currently the Vice president of 2Life Communities.
Ted has been a member of the Fair Housing Committee since 2010 and the chairperson for the last two years and was a member of the Massachusetts Housing Appeals Committee from 2010-2017.
The conversation covered many topics, including:
- The Housing Partnership and Fair Housing Committee:
- What is the Core Mission? How do they compare & contrast with each other?
- How does one go about becoming a member?
- When would citizens want to connect with each body?
- How do these bodies work with the Mayor, City Council, other boards & commissions, and the Planning Department?
- How these bodies become involved in affordable housing projects, initiatives, issues and what is working well and what can be improved in this process.
- The actions that they are taking to have input into how the city’s ARPA funds will be spent on affordable housing in Newton.
- How these advisory bodies can help a citizen who has limited to basic understanding of affordable housing in Newton become more educated about the challenges the city faces and how s/he can help.