Greenfield Housing Authority hires new executive director

  • The Greenfield Housing Authority is located at 1 Elm Terrace in Greenfield. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 10/27/2020 5:08:28 PM

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Housing Authority (GHA) has hired Greenfield native Thomas Guerino as its new executive director.

Robert “Butch” Hawkins, chair of GHA’s Board of Commissioners, said Guerino, who served for 10 years as executive director of the former Massachusetts Rural Development Council, is a graduate of Greenfield High School (Class of 1975), Greenfield Community College and the University of Southern Maine. He received a unanimous vote from the board to hire him.

GHA manages Oak Courts, a family public housing development, and Elm Terrace, with subsidized housing for the elderly and disabled. It also works with The United Arc to provide housing for qualified individuals with special needs, among others.

Hawkins said the Board of Commissioners undertook a thorough search that was delayed by the pandemic after former GHA Executive Director Daniel Finn retired in late April, giving it plenty of time to hold several interview rounds, all with health safety precautions being taken.

“It was clear at the end of the interviews that he would best serve the needs of the Housing Authority,” Hawkins said of Guerino. “The board views his experience in budgets, human resource management, organizational development and advocacy as key attributes to help the board move the GHA forward.”

Guerino, who lives in Vernon, Vt., is expected to begin in early November.

“During the interim period, the GHA has been fortunate to be in the capable hands of retired Housing Court Judge William Abrashkin,” Hawkins said. “The entire board and staff cannot thank Judge Abrashkin enough for stepping up and helping the GHA out. His experience and capabilities have been nothing short of outstanding.”

Hawkins said Guerino’s work with state and national elected leaders is a great asset, as are his capabilities to work with state agency heads.

“We all think this is going to be a good match,” he said.

“There is nothing more rewarding than my having the opportunity to return to my hometown and hopefully make a difference,” Guerino said of being selected as executive director. “I am anticipating a great run with the GHA. The directors are certainly knowledgeable and committed, and the staff I have met so far are bright and eager to do a great job on behalf of the residents within the properties managed by the GHA.”

Expanding affordable housing opportunities and maintaining the existing apartments are some things Guerino said he hopes he and the board can accomplish. Once he’s settled, he said he’ll be looking at whether there are programs that could be expanded, too.

The GHA’s mission is to provide safe and sanitary housing conditions for low-income families. According to GHA’s website, it was formed in 1946 by an action of Town Meeting when members determined a need for more housing, and on April 13 of that year, Massachusetts’ secretary of state issued a certificate of organization.

Three years later, the GHA developed 72 units of veterans housing and since that time has developed elderly housing, congregate housing for the elderly and disabled, family housing and a group home for people with special needs. In addition, it was chosen to manage the Winslow Apartments at the corner of Main and Wells streets, providing housing for single individuals, the website states.

GHA administers both state rental assistance and federal housing choice vouchers, and has developed a Family Self Sufficiency Program designed to help families become self-sufficient and free of government assistance.

GHA is located at 1 Elm Terrace. For more information, call 413-774-2932 or email info@greenfieldhousing.org.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or afritz@recorder.com.




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