Lauren Crews: Bedford Housing Authority

March 8, 2024

Lauren Crews finds a lot of reasons to be pleased with the Bedford Housing Authority as she prepares to be elected to her second five-year term. 

“The Housing Authority is an important part of our community – one of the ways we keep Bedford actively inclusive,” she observed.

The Housing Authority, which oversees professional staff, manages 80 units in eight buildings at Ashby Place and 12 single-family houses on Elm Street. 

“I’m not sure that people even appreciate it in town,” Crews said. “The housing is tucked back into a corner to the point where you don’t even know it’s there.”

The Housing Authority is separate from town government in that it manages state-sponsored housing assistance programs. Indeed, one of the five members is a state appointee. There’s a waiting list that’s managed at the state level; Crews said the local board is not involved with choosing tenants, though there is a local preference.

“We do keep track of vacancies,” she said. “We become aware, understanding how many apartments are open and how long it’s taking to fill them. I do think there are a lot of folks unable to access housing who would like to.”

Crews actually has seven years’ experience on the board. She was first appointed to fill a two-year vacancy. 

She said the board is involved with significant maintenance projects, reviewing bids, and awarding contracts. 

“Every year, there is at least one big project,” she said. Recently it was roofing; this year the focus was on flooring and stair treads in common areas of the Ashby Place buildings. “We want to keep everything safe and looking good.

“We are not setting policy. We are ensuring that the services provided to our neighbors are done well,” Crews said.  “At the last meeting, our accountant gave us top marks making sure we adhere to budgets, have a proper amount of reserves, and are reviewing expenditures.

“We provide excellent service,” she said. “I’m proud of the quality of service we provide.”

The Housing Authority encourages its residents to attend monthly board meetings. 

“I have heard it expressed that folks who live there are very pleased,” Crews said. “This gives them an opportunity to live in Bedford.”   

Crews is the Housing Authority liaison to the Community Preservation Committee. “We are proud of being able to support community preservation funding for the life-management program,” which for the past several years has helped residents pursue long-term success through counseling in areas such as financial literacy and vocational training. “This is one of the ways the Housing Authority is active in supporting the community.”

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