PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 31, 2019
GLOUCESTER’S HOUSING: FROM CRISIS TO OPPORTUNITY Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation presents 2019 symposium November 16 from 2:00–5:00 p.m.
The Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation’s community symposium explores the topic of housing, its relevance to the City of Gloucester and Cape Ann, and the challenges and opportunities it presents for the future. Through a program of speakers, panels, and audience interaction, presenters will address the question of how Gloucester’s lack of reasonably-priced housing is holding the city back. Discussions will explore how creative, green, and maritime economies might offer solutions.
The three-hour program is free and open to the public. People are encouraged to attend as much of the program as they like. Ten-minute breaks with refreshments between segments will allow audience members to interact with presenters and engage in informal conversations with each other.
The keynote presentation will be delivered by Andrew DeFranza, Executive Director of Harborlight Community Partners. With its origins in the 1960’s, Harborlight has worked to develop, manage, and advocate for quality, affordable, and inclusive housing. Mr. DeFranza will draw on his extensive experience in regional housing to speak to the importance of community partnerships.
Additional speakers include Peggy Hegarty-Steck (Action, Inc.), Carl Gustin (Economic Development and Industrial Corporation), and Tom Balf (OceanVest). Panelists include Bob Gillis (Cape Ann Savings Bank), Shawn Henry (Planning Board), David Houlden (Housing Authority), Jen Holmgren (City Council), Kirk Noyes (Gloucester Development Team), and Ken Riehl (Cape Ann Chamber). Participants represent a wide range of expertise from government, non-profits, the arts, and local business encompassing a broad range of housing viewpoints. Individual presenters will share personal stories relating to their housing experience. Written audience questions will raise specific concerns and ideas for panel discussions.
“Housing is an important and timely topic for Gloucester and the region,” noted Charles Nazarian, President of the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation. “Part of our mission as a civic hub and community action center is to raise awareness of contemporary topics and to bring together relevant stakeholders for a balanced public conversation.”
The Gloucester Meetinghouse, home of the Unitarian Universalist Church, is located at the corner of Church and Middle Streets. The accessible side entrance is at 10 Church Street. Event parking is available on the green and at additional parking lots nearby in the Historic District. For more information on this program and for the full 2019-20 event schedule, please visit http://www.gloucestermeetinghouse.org.