Watertown Housing Advocacy Group Receives Award

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Housing for All Watertown members Daniel Pritchard, Rita Colafella, Sam Ghilardi, Amy Plovnick, and Josh Rosmarin, flanked by AHMA staff Kassie Infante and Jesse Kanson-Benanav with the “Rookie of the Year” award. (Photo by Grainy Daze Studios)

The following announcement was provided by Housing for All Watertown:

On Nov. 30, a local housing advocacy group was honored at Abundant Housing Massachusetts’s First Annual Celebration of Abundance. Housing for All Watertown (HAW), a grassroots resident-led group founded in early 2023, received a “Rookie of the Year” award from the Massachusetts pro-housing nonprofit.

“There are so many local community groups like ours who are working to create more housing access and address the region’s urgent housing crisis, so it’s an honor to be recognized for our efforts here in Watertown,” said Jacky van Leeuwen, a member of the HAW Steering Committee.

Founded by Watertown residents Josh Rosmarin, Amy Plovnick, Daniel Pritchard, and Sam Ghilardi, Housing for All Watertown’s mission is to build a broad coalition of residents who will advance local policies and projects that expand housing options for all. The group seeks solutions to current housing challenges to improve the quality of life for current and future community members, and envisions a future of abundant housing options for individuals and families at every income level and stage of life in a diverse, sustainable community.

Housing for All Watertown earned its “Rookie of the Year” award by organizing a coalition of more than 200 residents to support a variety of housing policies and projects across the city. They petitioned to add residential units to the Watertown Mall Transformation Project, supported the city’s linkage fees on new commercial development to fund the Affordable Housing Trust, and advocated for more housing in Watertown Square as part of the Watertown Square area plan.

Steering Committee members Josh Rosmarin, Rita Colafella, Daniel Pritchard, and Sam Ghilardi attended the celebration at Lamplighter CX in Cambridge to accept the custom-designed award, which will be on display at the organization’s next event, a Happy HAW-lidays Cookie Exchange. The exchange, which is free and open to the public, will be held at First Parish of Watertown on Tuesday, Dec. 19th from 4-6 p.m.

Watertown residents who are interested in expanding housing access and affordability in the city can join the group’s mailing list at housingforallwatertown.org.

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