Taunton Housing Authority Director Colleen Doherty
The Taunton Housing Authority will be feeling the impact of its stimulus awards for years to come.

Recovery Act Impact: Taunton Housing Authority

  • Public housing capital fund: $615K

  • Improvements to 3 Housing projects

  • Ensured projects received federal designation

  • Weatherization assistance program: $387K

  • Installed new, more efficient heating systems in a public housing project

As Colleen Doherty, executive director of the Housing Authority explained, her agency used the $615K in stimulus funds it received to make capital improvements to three different housing developments in Taunton. Those improvements enabled the sites to be federalized, ensuring a predictable stream of income for these three housing developments.

"We were successful in expending the ARRA money to federalize these units and

Taunton Housing Authority
for decades to come we will see additional operating funds," said Doherty. "Without the stimulus funds it never would have happened. It was a one time opportunity and we were extremely fortunate to make it happen."

The three Taunton housing developments -- Fitzsimmons Arms, Ardmore Apartments and Caswell Grove -- are all designated for the elderly and disabled and total 232 units. (The Taunton Housing Authority manages 730 units in total.) The new federal designation means that the properties will receive $527K in annual subsidies in addition to capital funding.

Taunton Housing Authority's John Massey and Jeffrey Simon
"This is really a long term investment in these properties," said Doherty. "This is good for us and good for our residents."

In order to pass federal Housing and Urban Development standards, the Authority used the stimulus funding to put in new carpeting, a new roof and new doors as well as upgrading of the parking areas and the heating systems. John Massey, superintendent of maintenance for the Housing Authority, noted that many of these were long standing problems in the buildings that needed to get fixed.

"These projects were always in our head but there was no funding for them," noted Doherty.

The Taunton Housing Authority also received $387K in stimulus funds to weatherize units at the Fitzsimmons Arms project. These upgrades involved installing new, more efficient heating systems.

Taunton Housing Authority's new Heating Systems
"Without the stimulus funding we would still be using the old boilers and patching them," said Massey.

Doherty agreed and noted that there will be significant cost savings for the residents, who pay for their utilities. "The new systems will save a lot of money for the residents," said Doherty. "The old systems were very inefficient and were always breaking down. The stimulus money was such a huge windfall for us."