THIS GUEST ARTICLE BY: Brock N. Cordeiro, member of the Dartmouth Housing Authority.

Brock Cordeiro 2

Christmas Day is December 25, but gifts were delivered a little early to the Town of Dartmouth, and not even by a jolly old elf. Instead of Santa Claus, it was Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito who visited the Dartmouth Housing Authority (DHA) on the morning of Thursday, December 16 to announce $385,000 in MassWorks Infrastructure Development grants – $275,000 to benefit the construction of the DHA's Mendes-Monteiro House and $110,000 to the Town of Dartmouth to help fund affordable housing construction in North Dartmouth at Route 6 and Reed Road.

Nearly 300 units of affordable housing is facilitated by the grants announced by Lt. Gov. Polito.

As a member of the Dartmouth Housing Authority, I was thrilled to be joined at the DHA by my fellow board members (including Chairman Michael Mattos, who spoke at the event, as well as Elaine Lancaster and David Brodeur), our Executive Director Connie Desbiens, State Representative Christopher Markey, Select Board Member John Haran, Town Administrator Shawn MacInnes, and Cody Haddad, the Town's Director of Development.

I am particularly proud of the future Mendes-Monteiro House and the promise that it holds for those in need and being serviced by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health to provide communal and independent living to disabled seniors. I wholeheartedly support this project, which has had the support of town officials and the votes of the Dartmouth Town Meeting – and now Governor Charlie Baker and the Lieutenant Governor.

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For those unfamiliar with the Mendes-Monteiro House project, it is named after Joseph Mendes and Joseph Monteiro, both longtime members of the DHA, who were strong advocates for affordable housing for both the elderly and the disabled. The 7,600 square-foot House (780 sq. feet per unit) will be constructed on DHA owned land off of Anderson Way, adjacent to current affordable housing, and it will be supported by the state Department of Mental Health to provide communal and independent living to disabled seniors.

The House is a partnership between the DHA, Partners in Housing, Inc. (developer) and the Stone Soup Collaborative to construct a $3.9 million development creating 10 new units of affordable housing that will include 24-hour supportive services. This is the second home that DHA has undertaken to build specific supportive housing, the first being the O'Connor-Sisson House for Veterans who are homeless or in jeopardy of being homeless.

The $275,000 MassWorks Infrastructure grant awarded to the DHA will support the installation of utilities to within 10 feet of the future Mendes-Monteiro House. These necessities include sewer, electricity, gas, water, and telecommunications. In addition to the utilities extension, infrastructure development will include drainage upgrades, landscaping, and an extension of a sidewalk.

During these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation, and an aging population along with an increased sensitivity toward mental health issues, I am proud to be involved in the creation of the Mendes-Monteiro House. I am honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with our municipal and state officials. I look forward to the day, hopefully sometime very soon, when we are literally standing together holding the shovels at our ground breaking ceremony for the Mendes-Monteiro House.

Editor's Note: 'SouthCoast Voices' is a series of guest articles from newsmakers across the region, on relevant issues that directly impact the people of Greater New Bedford and the surrounding communities. The opinions are solely those of the author. If you are interested in contributing, please contact for more information. 

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