SHA resident councils forge community ties
United as neighbors and friends, members of tenants’ councils across the Springfield Housing Authority say the regular activities and meetings enrich their lives and improve their developments.
The newest group formed recently at Central Apartments, with five officers ready to begin planning events and activities that can help to draw neighbors together in the development for elderly and handicapped residents in the Six Corners section of the city.
President Agustin Flores said he and the rest of the group are ready to go, working with Resident Services Coordinator Candra Cripps to get things going.
“We want to be more active as neighbors, do things together that will make Central strong, and a great place to live,” Flores said. “Forming a group will help with that.”
Cripps agreed, saying she is pleased that Central is now the fifth SHA development with a formal group to organize events that are a benefit to all.
“Having a council allows people to get to know their neighbors, promotes safety and gets people out of their apartments to socialize with each other,” Cripps said. Typically, councils host things like holiday pot-luck dinners, games sessions such as cards and Bingo, and things that benefit others such as food and clothing drives.
Councils also are eligible to receive SHA funding these gatherings, Cripps noted.
SHA developments with tenants’ councils include Riverview, Tri Towers, Central, Gentile and Jennie Lane. While those are all elderly and disabled housing, family housing developments also qualify to organize councils.
At Central, officers include Flores, Carmen Lopez, Sergeo Cedeno, Esther Guilbe and Olga Lugo. They have already begun meeting monthly and will soon be hosting events.
Cripps said she looks forward to working with the newest tenants’ councils, and would love to see more developments organize them.
“I’m really excited about this one,” Cripps said. “We’ve been working for two or three years to get this one going, and the one constant has been Agustin. He’s very dedicated, and he’ll work hard to keep things going.
“This is a great group. I think they’re going to be a very committed group and make Central a better place to live at.”
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