We invited everyone running for an uncontested seat in next week’s elections to provide written answers to a few questions about diversity, equity, and inclusion in Holliston. So far we’ve received two responses, one from Andrea McCoy, who is running for Library Trustee, and one from Maria Constantinides who is running for the Housing Authority. We share Maria’s answers below and Andrea’s are available here.

You can also learn more about Maria in her candidate profile on the Holliston Reporter.


If you are elected to the position, what do you think are the priorities for Holliston going forward?

As a candidate for Housing Authority my priorities are to support state and local efforts to provide housing opportunities for the elderly and working families. Housing opportunities take many forms and I support efforts focused on rental and home ownership.

Do you foresee any specific obstacles to making progress on those priorities?

There are two areas that we need to focus on – funding and available land.  Funding is always problematic and that is why I support the governor’s bond bill that is before the legislature right now. We live in a town with limited large scale building opportunities, creative use of the space we do have is important in order to maintain a strong tax base.

What are your specific strategies and plans for addressing those obstacles?

I support the governor’s $1.6 billion request to repair, rehabilitate and modernize the states public housing as the best way to address our funding needs.  I am hopeful the House and Senate will speedily review and approve the current bond bill.

I would like to see the development of starter homes, town houses, cluster homes, etc. in areas where one to three contiguous lots are available.

In your opinion, how is Holliston currently leading effectively with a lens of equity and inclusion, and where could we be doing better?

There are always opportunities to do better and I will welcome feedback and input from the community/Diverse Holliston regarding this. There are two items that come to mind.

The Common Housing Application for Massachusetts Programs (CHAMP) currently is available in English and six other languages. In meeting with some of the residents in our housing I have observed that additional languages are needed and I will look to lead the request for this expansion.

The monthly Residents and Housing Authority meetings are held in English; I would like to strategize ways to include other languages which would provide more residents with an opportunity to participate.

We are expecting budget shortfalls this year, for example in the Holliston Public Schools. What concrete ideas and strategies do you suggest to address this challenge?

Housing will require buy in from residents and most of the town boards.  I believe that my 40 plus years as a manager in a non-profit has made me well suited to seek solutions while respecting others view points.

Holliston has to submit a Housing Production Plan this year. What do you think the goals of Holliston’s Housing Production plan should be? What are the opportunities this presents? What are the obstacles and how should they be addressed?

It is incumbent on each of us to recognize that housing is a right and limiting options for rent or home ownership negatively impacts all of us.  Housing of any type helps with the overall housing shortage but public housing is the most essential as it serves the neediest among us. State and local governments should identify how many residents are in need of public housing and apply for state and federal grants to help pay for construction.  All new construction should include solar panels and assistance with utility costs if the cost of electricity exceeds a certain benchmark.

I would like to see construction of ADU’s as right, increased section 8 vouchers, funding pool for repairs/renovations, cluster homes, town houses, etc. and loosening of zoning restrictions.