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Affordable Housing in Newburyport: Who can Afford to Live Here?

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October 02, 2017
 Affordable Housing in Newburyport: Who can Afford to Live Here?
NEWBURYPORT, MA – September 25.  Pennies for Poverty and the Justice Action Ministry of the First Religious Society (FRS) Unitarian Universalist will sponsor a panel discussion on Wednesday, October 4, to explore next steps in further advocacy for affordable housing in the Newburyport area. The free, public event, “Who Can Afford to Live in Newburyport?” will present information from expert panelists and invite active discussion about locating and developing affordable housing. The event will take place from 7-8 pm at the FRS Lower Meeting House located at 26 Pleasant Street in Newburyport.
Panelists will include Nat Coughlin, vice president, L.D. Russo, Inc., a firm which has worked in affordable housing for a number of years as both a builder and a developer.  They have partnered with the Newburyport YWCA to build 10 units at their location on Market Street, and will be building 42 units in Salisbury with them next year.  Roseann Robillard, Council of Aging director in Newburyport will also serve on the panel to discuss the needs of the elderly. The third panelist will be George Koehler, a member of the board for the Merrimac Valley Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit housing ministry that serves 22 communities of the Merrimack Valley with the support of local volunteers, donors and sponsors.
The event follows an informative discussion on September 13 when Judy Tymon, Chair of the Newburyport Affordable Housing Trust, and Dr. Gail Fayre, board member from the YWCA, shared information on projects underway, and informed the audience on what meetings and commission plans are now developing which will need advocacy.  
Our mission is to reduce poverty and alleviate its devastating impact on individuals and families in the Greater Newburyport Area. We accomplish this by:
  • Raising funds to address urgent needs at local anti-poverty agencies.
  • Increasing awareness and educating about poverty in greater Newburyport.
  • Helping people in need find ways of getting help through our mobile-friendly, searchable, online Resources Directory
  • Promoting volunteerism by advocating use of by local non-profits to publish their volunteer needs and publicizing its availability to the community.
  • Improving the quality of food provided to those in need by involving farms, fresh fish and natural food stores in our gift card program and distributing the majority of our gift cards during the growing season.
  • Publicizing food drives and other local anti-poverty activities.
  • Supporting local businesses by buying gift cards for donation to local anti-poverty organizations.
The Justice Action Ministry stimulates awareness and action on social justice issues within the First Religious Society and the local community, in collaboration with other FRS groups, local Newburyport social action groups, and the greater Unitarian Universalist Association.
For information, contact:
Amy Weickert, co-president
Pennies for Poverty
Lea Pearson
Justice Action Ministry