Globe Local


Gloucester symposium will address affordable housing

Gloucester’s pressing need for more affordable housing and how it might be addressed is the focus of a community symposium that is being presented by the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation on Saturday, Nov. 16.

Free and open to all, the event will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Gloucester Meetinghouse — also the home of the Unitarian Universalist Church — at the corner of Church and Middle streets, with an accessible side entrance at 10 Church St.

Through a program of speakers, panels, and audience interaction, the forum will address the question of how Gloucester’s lack of reasonably priced housing might be holding the city back. Discussion will also explore how creative, green, and maritime economies might offer solutions.


Andrew DeFranza, executive director of Harborlight Community Partners — a nonprofit that creates and advocates for affordable housing — will deliver a keynote address.

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Organizers said participants at the event represent a wide range of expertise from government, nonprofits, the arts, and local business encompassing a broad spectrum of housing viewpoints. There will also be individual presenters sharing personal stories relating to their housing experiences.

“Housing is an important and timely topic for Gloucester and the region,” Charles Nazarian, president of the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation, said in a statement. “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.”

Organizers said community members are welcome to attend all or parts of the symposium.

John Laidler can be reached at