Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Harmonizing a Home

Recently, HCA was offered the chance for one of our tenants to redesign two of their rooms with Red Door DesignWorks, a local interior decorating firm that focuses on enhancing harmony in relationships and living spaces. HCA held a lottery for our tenants, and the winner got to work with Allison Carswell and Andrea Canty to transform her family’s living room and dining room.

Here are the results...

The before living room:

And the beautiful after!:

The dining room before Andrea & Allison got their hands on it:

And after!:

Thank you Red Door DesignWorks!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Forest-Peirce Project Ribbon Cutting

On Thursday, November 5th, HCA celebrated the completion of ten more affordable units to add to our housing stock. We were thrilled to show neighbors, lenders, tenants, and other guests around the Forest-Peirce Project site.

Here are some HCA friends exploring the property:

A new bathroom at Peirce with a photo of the pre-rehabbed tub and sink:

HCA staff giving tours of the newly rehabbed units:

Peter Feinmann, president of Feinmann, Inc., talks about the work his crew did on the buildings:

State Representative Jay Kaufman speaks about the importance of affordable housing in Arlington:

The big moment...

...and it's cut!
Thank you HCA supporters for helping us continue to increase affordable housing in our community!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

2009 Annual Meeting Recap

This October, HCA celebrated our 23rd year with our 2009 Annual Meeting at Arlington Town Hall Auditorium:

HCA Board Member, Mary Doyle, presents HCA's 2009 Deacon Frank Mandosa Community Service Award to Liz Jaramillo of Friends of Gateway for her mobilization of the Arlington community to care for the over seventy homeless families staying at the Cambridge Gateway Inn:

Professor Barry Bluestone presents his finding on the Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2009:

Arlington Housing Authority (AHA) Commissioner Nick Mitropoulos, AHA Executive Director John Griffin, AHA Commissioner Teresa Walsh, David Levy, AHA Commissioner Brian Greeley:

Thank you all who came and supported HCA at our 2009 Annual Meeting!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Light on the Horizon: The Future of Housing

HCA is thrilled to welcome Professor Barry Bluestone as our Keynote Speaker for our 2009 Annual Meeting. Professor Bluestone is the founding director of the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban & Regional Policy and the Dean of the School of Urban Affairs & Public Policy at Northeastern University.

Professor Bluestone will report on the latest analysis of housing data to look at where we are in the housing cycle now and where we expect to be through the next three years.

HCA will also be presenting our 2009 Deacon Frank Mandosa Community Sevice Award to Liz Jaramillo of the Friends of Gateway. In honor of Liz, we are asking attendees to bring warm outdoor clothing to contribute to Friends of Gateway: Winter Boots, Socks, Coats, Hats, Gloves, Mittens, Scarves, Snow Pants & Snowsuits.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009
6:00 PM
Arlington Town Hall Auditorium

Please contact Joanna at 781-316-3606 or for more details.

Hope you can join us!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

HCA's First Weatherization Day: A Success!

Under the incredible A-HEET leadership of Laurel Kayne and Jeremy Marin, along with half a dozen Team Leaders including Arlington Selectman Annie LaCourt, local electrician Joe DeNatale, Audrey Schulman, Jason Taylor, Woody Swan, Forbes Little, Marc Breslow, and Martin LaMonica, a crew of forty volunteers weatherized one of HCA's two-family houses on a very rainy September morning.

Volunteers painstakingly insulated the heating pipes, caulked windows and moldings, replaced incandescent bulbs with energy efficient CFLs, insulated electrical outlets and sealed exterior penetrations. From basement to attic, all parties involved had a hand in making the property as airtight as possible.

Peter Feinmann, President of Feinmann, Inc., orchestrated the final blower door test with his crew at the end of the work day. The average reduction in “air leakage” after weatherizing a home is around 11%. At this event, the group reduced one unit’s air flow by 12% and the other by 24%! Tenants in both units were extremely grateful for the improvements being made to their living space from so many volunteers.

A big "thank you" goes out to everyone who joined us--Great Job!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The HEET is on!

As the weather changes from the hot days of summer to cold New England chills, we look to lower our heating costs in every way possible. In the summer of 2008, the Home Energy Efficiency Team, otherwise know as HEET, formed to bring community volunteers together to weatherize homes. Using the barn raising model, HEET aims to reduce the carbon footprint of specific houses, teach participants skills that they can use to make their own homes more energy efficient, and build a sense of community.

We are thrilled to announce that A-HEET (HEET’s Arlington chapter) and HCA are joining forces to weatherize one of HCA’s two-family houses. In order to locate the areas in the homes where the most cold air is coming in, Feinmann, Inc. is contributing a blower door test in the weeks preceding our work day in order to determine how much we can reduce the loss of heat through the combined air sealing efforts. Feinmann is also donating the materials for air sealing, including expanding foam, caulk, foam gaskets for electrical plates, and pipe wrap.

On the morning of Saturday, September 12th, using A-HEET’s expertise and guidance, HCA volunteers will air-seal the property and lower employ other methods of reducing energy usage, therefore lowering utility costs for the tenants and energy usage for the community at large.

Please contact Joanna at or 781-316-3606 for more details or (even better) if you would like to join us!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Forest-Peirce Rehab Updates

Last winter, HCA purchased ten "new-to-us" units in Arlington Heights. Called the Forest-Peirce Project, the Peirce building is made up of four spacious one-bedroom units, and the adjacent Forest building holds one one-bedroom apartment and five two-bedrooms. The units are currently being outfitted with new kitchens, new bathrooms, new windows, new flooring, insulation and other amenities. For more information about the work we're doing on this Project, check out this link.

Take a look at these shots of our progress:
A photo of one of the old kitchens at our Forest property. Great light, nice space but clearly needs some updating.

Here's the another kitchen at the same property in the middle of renovation. We picked up the vinyl flooring and put in new tiles. Next are new cabinets...

Complete and beautiful! New appliances finish off a bright and airy eat-in-kitchen in this two-bedroom apartment. All it needs now is a good cook and some good eaters!

With the hard work of our contractors at Feinmann, Inc., HCA is on its way to having ten more affordable units in our portfolio. Stay tuned for more updates!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Welcome to HCA's Blog!

Here is a place for our constituents to learn about HCA events, volunteer opportunities, affordable housing opportunities and policy alerts.