HCA Newsletter

On this page we share HCA’s most recent monthly newsletter.

Those who need translation can select their language from the menu on the upper right. Enjoy!

Sa a pèmèt moun ki bezwen tradiksyon li nan pwòp lang yo lè yo chwazi lang yo nan meni ki anlè dwat. Jwi!

Esto permite a quienes necesitan traducción leerlo en su propio idioma seleccionando su idioma en el menú en la esquina superior derecha. ¡Disfrutar!



April 16, 2024

HCA has endorsed the Tenant Opportunity To Purchase legislation. Below is an urgent message from the TOPA campaign. Let’s get this passed!!

In anticipation of the Housing Committee issuing another extension on reporting out the TOPA bill (H.1350/S.880), we have an opportunity:

TODAY, on April 16th, please join in calling your Senators and Reps and asking them to tell the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Housing that TOPA should be reported out favorably ASAP. Making lots of calls from across the state tomorrow will help make our message clear: TOPA is crucial for our communities and we need them to act now.

Neighbor to Neighbor is having a call-in day for TOPA and other issues they’re working on. Let’s join N2N’s efforts by calling in support of TOPA.

  • Find your legislators here: FINDMYLEG
  • and ask them (or their staffer): Please tell the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Housing to vote TOPA out favorably from the Joint Committee ASAP!

If you live in Arlington:Your State Senator is:
Cindy Friedman: Cindy.Friedman@masenate.gov

Your State Representative is either:
Sean Garballey: Sean.Garballey@mahouse.gov
or Dave Rogers: Dave.Rogers@mahouse.gov

Please find 5 minutes to call TODAY!
But if you can’t please call on Wednesday instead; that will still help!

April 2024 Newsletter

Elected and Town Officials Visit HCA Property!
We Celebrated 50 Years of the CDBG Program
Above: the full group gathered in the entry way of 114 Lowell Street. Photo by Frank Tadley
In early April, HCA’s property on Lowell Street in Downing Square got some distinguished guests!  To celebrate 50 years of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the Town of Arlington held a tour of local properties that had been funded by federal CDBG funds. Our Downing Square Broadway Initiative used CDBG funds to support acquisition, predevelopment, and construction of this 48-unit project.

During the tour, HCA staff, board members, and tenants welcomed State Representative Sean Garballey, Representative Dave Rogers’ Legislative Aide, George Armstrong, Town Manager Jim Feeney, Director and Assistant Director of Planning and Community Development, Claire Ricker and Sarah Suarez, Arlington CDBG Administrator Mary Muszinsky, and Arlington Information Officer, Joan Roman.

HCA President Neal Mongold, HCA Executive Director Erica Schwarz, and tenants Gloria Mendez and Frank Tadley all shared a few words. Erica also read a short statement from tenant and HCA Board member Makeelia Parker, who couldn’t attend the tour. Each tenant noted how having affordable housing was so important for them and for the community at large.

Then the group was invited to peek into both Gloria and Frank’s apartments, to see the beautiful and comfortable affordable homes that CDBG helped make possible.

Thanks to the Town and to our elected officials, all of whom support HCA, and help ensure that important funding programs like CDBG remain available to support affordable housing!

Below are photos in tenants’ light-filled apartments: left: Tenant Gloria Mendez; right: Former HCA Board Member and HCA Tenant Frank Tadley, with current Board Member Elena Arrendol

Jack Cooper Leaves the HCA Board

After nearly 17 years on the HCA Board, Jack Cooper is leaving that role, as he and his wife are moving out of Arlington to downsize during retirement.

Jack brought a positive, can-do attitude to our conversations. He also brought a lot of insight, having served as the Executive Director of the Mass Union for Public Housing Tenants for 37 years. We will miss his deep knowledge of tenant services and housing subsidies, and his compassion and commitment to this work. Most recently, Jack served on HCA’s Strategic Planning Committee, where our priorities were on property asset management and fundraising in order to grow our work. Through that committee alone, Jack’s contributions will continue to serve us in very tangible ways, even as he moves on.

Thank you, Jack for all of the wisdom, energy, and encouragement that you contributed during your years of involvement with HCA. We wish you all the best in this next era of your life!

Farewell to Luca!

Luca Cassano’s 11-month AmeriCorp position as HCA’s Civic Engagement Coordinator is ending! Luca’s last day with HCA will be on April 12th. The staff, board, and the many tenants that Luca worked with will sorely miss him!

During his time here, Luca recruited tenant leaders to form the HCA Tenant Council Steering Committee. Over many meetings, he supported that group and the other eventual Tenant Council participants in developing the Tenant Council goals, and starting to develop the Tenant Council structure and overall agenda.

Luca also coordinated HCA’s Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, put out special newsletters just for HCA tenants, compiled the results of the HCA Tenant Satisfaction Survey and much more. He also brought joy and warmth to the office atmosphere.

After spending time in Italy with family, Luca will be moving to Chicago. We wish him the best in all of his future endeavors and hope that he continues to contribute his skills to the community development field.

Luca will be followed in this Civic Engagement Coordinator posi9tion by another AmeriCorp Member, Jackson Hamilton, who starts in April. Stay tuned to learn more about him in next month’s newsletter!

Donate to HCA’s
Homelessness Prevention Program

A local Arlington couple has challenged HCA to raise $15,000 by May 15th in order to get a 100% match for our homelessness prevention program (HPP). Donate today to ensure we meet the match!

HPP provides Arlington families with funds to support back rent, or security deposit or moving expenses, for a new affordable apartment. It’s a vital lifeline to help families get through a difficult time and remain stable and housed.

Families seeking help often have lost a job, are facing major health issues, are leaving an unsafe relationships, or face another financial emergency, like a sudden rent increase or a old car that finally died.

In the last year, the demand for this program increased by 30% and shows no sign of subsiding. Currently, HCA serves over 50 households a year with these grants — families who are at risk of losing their housing and have no other options in this housing market.

Help us meet this matching challenge. Please give today to double the value of your gift! 

Arlington has long been the kind of place where neighbors look out for each other. Give today, see your gift doubled, and ensure that other Arlington families have the support they need.

Thanks in advance for your donation!


You can Apply for the Arlington Master Plan Update
Advisory Committee!
Arlington is now kicking off a process to update the Town’s Master Plan. This Plan establishes a vision for Arlington’s future. It will serve as a guide for decisions around land use, housing, transportation, environmental issues, cultural sites, social programs and more — for the next 10 years. A final version will be voted on by the members of Town Meeting in spring 2026.

Any Arlington resident is invited to apply to join the 15-person Arlington Master Plan Advisory Committee (the “AMPUp” Committee). You don’t need experience in town planning to apply! HCA encourages tenants to apply, or anyone who has a special interest, experience, or knowledge of affordable housing. The committee will meet about once a month between spring 2024 and December 2025.

The application for the AMPUp Advisory Committee is open until April 14th.  Apply here: https://forms.gle/Z6de87Bq1wfQsjwu5

If you need help completing the application, contact Luca: LCassano@housingcorparlington.org.

To learn more, click here to watch a recording of the Feb 29th Master Planning Update Webinar

Learn more about the Town’s Master Planning process: Master Plan | Town of Arlington (arlingtonma.gov)

for the

Sunday, May 19, 2024
Jason Russel House
12 – 2 pm

Music, Food, Games, Raffle,
Housing Advocacy Opportunities
and a 1-mile Community Walk down Mass Ave!

JP Honk Band & Stiltwalker Sir Danny Drake

Let’s celebrate & advocate
for a more affordable Arlington

~ All walkers get a swag bag, event t-shirt
and 1 free raffle ticket, for prizes from local businesses! ~

Bring your wallet…
You can buy more raffle tickets at the event!



Thank you to our Sponsors
(to date):


Brookline Bank

Cambridge Savings Bank


East Cambridge Savings Bank

Leader Bank

Bald Hill Builders

Calvary Church

Eagle Bank

Eastern Bank

KJP Partners

Reframe Systems

Merchants Capital

Watertown Savings Bank

Winchester Savings Bank

Arlex Oil Company

GZA Environmental

Peabody Properties

Workbar Arlington

Belmont Printing

Belmont PrintingSummer Federal LLC

Zen Ren Chuan Martial Arts

Join HCA
MACDC Lobby Day

HCA will visit the Boston statehouse for the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) Lobby Day!

We will talk to our legislators about bills that support housing affordability and other important community development goals. Plus, we will meet people from across the state who are involved with groups like HCA. It’s a fun, important day!

Monday, May 13th
9 am – 3 pm
Boston Statehouse
(We will coordinate rides!)

If you’ve never been to the statehouse before or never talked to an elected official — that’s no problem. Join our group!

To RSVP or learn more, contact Erica:
781-859-5294 x1

Stay Up to Date on HCA’s Housing Projects!

Learn about 10 Sunnyside Ave on our website