For the last two years, the Lowell Housing Authority has worked to revitalize the streetscape along Market Street, which to date, has seen improvements with new parking, iron fencing, and new walkways. More recently, Themelis Square at the corner of Market Street and Dummer Street has been improved to include open seating with new benches, lighting, additional parking spaces for residents, and new landscaping. The Lowell Housing Authority is committed to the urban revitalization of the Merrimack Street Corridor. To that end, the agency has established a non-profit affiliate called the Revitalization Effort Toward New Urbanism (RENU), to begin an ambitious project to develop mixed-use property consisting of workforce housing and retail space. The vision for the 50-60 new units will be designed for families making $40,000-$60,000—families who often do not meet eligibility requirements for other LHA housing options.
While the project is still in the early stages, an environmental review has been conducted, and RENU has assembled its Board of Directors, consisting of community partners who will help drive the project. The next step for the nonprofit will be the submission of an application to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to disposition scattered sites. Funding will come from the disposition of the scattered sites, along with low-income tax credits. The organization will be working on resident outreach this spring to discuss the plans for the project, though it will be at least a year before any resident is relocated to another Lowell Housing Authority property.
Watch the interview with Gary Wallace, Executive Director, on the Sun Spot feature of your local news