Dupree's Housing Board Priority: Identify 'Real Needs'
The annual town election is Tuesday, March 5.
Jill Dupree wants to help Westborough “identify what the real needs are” for housing assistance.
That task would be the Whitney Street resident’s top priority if voters elect her to the Westborough Housing Authority next week.
Dupree and Smith Street resident William Linnane are running for the three-year term on the housing board on the March 5 annual town ballot. Incumbent Charles Naples is unopposed for the five-year term on the ballot. Incumbent Julie Pappazsis isn't seeking re-election.
“Part of the problem that I see in this town is that – for anybody in the state – there’s such a labyrinth of programs that it’s hard to figure out what the real demand for this sort of housing is,” Dupree says.
Dupree says that “I think the people at the housing authority do a great job of being really concerned about their residents and making as good a quality a living experience as they can.”
“I don’t want to go and try to change any of that. But I think we need to take a look at for those for whom it could be a transitional experience, how do we make it a transitional experience. Then you’re making those resources available for more people,” she says.
Dupree also believes she would find serving on the housing authority educational.
She teaches economics at Bentley University, and “we’re right in the middle in my microeconomics classes of talking about rent controls and housing policy.”
“I can talk about the theory of it. But my students always ask what’s actually going on. And I have to say frankly, ‘I don’t know,’” Dupree says.
“And so my interest was, I could run for a position on the housing authority. I could learn something about how affordable housing policy actually works in this state. And I felt I actually do have some background to be able to provide some positive input into the decisions that are being made and the questions that are being asked.”
Dupree also is a member of the First United Methodist Church, which works with Interfaith Hospitality Network, “which helps people that are homeless get into the housing system,” she says.
“Here’s all of these people that really have need, and they’re trying to work into the system, and they’re struggling to get into the system,” Dupree says.
“I’d like to get involved because I feel maybe if I understood it better, I could help.”