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There’s a New Authority in Town – New Executive Director Katelynn Lemieux takes charge of town’s public housing agency with a plan to “choose kindness”

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By Mark E. Vogler


Katelynn M. Lemieux is officially the new face of the Saugus Housing Authority, as she wraps up her second week on the job today as executive director after making her debut presiding over her first authority meeting on Wednesday (April 10).

“She’s going to be great! She’s going to be great!” former Authority Executive Director Laura Glynn – Lemieux’s predecessor – said excitedly from the audience Wednesday afternoon just before the authority completed its meeting in 20 minutes.

“That’s the quickest meeting we’ve had,” Glynn said.

Glynn, who had been the authority’s executive director since she was hired in June of 2013, stepped down this spring so she can spend more time taking care of her ailing father.

She praised Lemieux for her organizational skills, preparation and passion for the job. “She is as organized as I am disorganized,” Glynn said. “I think she will do very well in this job,” Glynn said.

The Housing Authority voted unanimously at its Feb. 13 meeting to offer Lemieux the job and begin negotiations. It took about a week for the authority negotiating team and Lemieux to reach an agreement, which was approved by the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC) late last month. Lemieux will earn $92,500 a year over the course of a 20-month contract that will expire on Dec. 31, 2025, with her continued employment subject to review, according to Lemieux, who took over on April 1.


A smooth transition

Glynn received a public “Thank You” from Lemieux during Wednesday’s meeting. “My first day was April 1, and she’s been wonderful,” Lemieux told the authority of the help she has received during the transition of executive directors.

“She has all the institutional knowledge and I’m trying to transcribe everything she is saying and hold onto it,” she said.

The executive director’s job is set by the state, which approves all hirings and contracts. Glynn said she started out at about $70,000 at the time of her hiring and was making about $110,000 when she stepped down.

Lemieux said Glynn will continue on a part-time consultant’s basis. “I will have her here as long as she comes in,” Lemieux told The Saugus Advocate during an interview Wednesday from her office in the ground level of Heritage Heights at 19 Talbot St. in Saugus. The building holds 100 units of federal public housing apartments.

“During the transition, I was working remotely, even before my contract started,” Lemieux said in an interview.

“Since February, I’ve been working with Laura. She’s been wonderful. I just picked her brain about anything and everything,” she said.

“I’m hoping I can keep her [telephone] number forever. I look to her like she’s a mentor. She’s taught me so much. She has a lot of heart and is great with the residents,” she said.

As part of her orientation, Lemieux said, she has viewed all of the properties, met all of the staff and spent time getting acquainted with 75 to 100 residents during two “meet and greet” events on the Housing Authority properties.

Lemieux’s job entails overseeing the properties that accommodate 313 households. They include 205 units of elderly disabled housing, 100 units of federal housing and eight units of family housing. In addition to Heritage Heights, the Housing Authority property portfolio includes 85 units at Laurel Gardens and 100 units at Laurel Towers – both state-aided public housing – and eight units of state-aided family housing at Armitage Arms at 212 Essex St; and there are 20 units of state-aided elderly housing at Sweetser’s Corner on Baker Street.

“I’ve met a lot of our residents and they’ve been very welcoming,” Lemieux said.

“In my first two weeks, I’ve also walked around the developments and made myself known around all of the properties. A big challenge is definitely going to be learning everyone’s name,” she said.


Smoking “a hot-button issue”

In early talks with some of the tenants, smoking has surfaced as an issue of concern. “It’s a hot-button issue. That’s an issue that comes up at a lot of housing authorities. It’s definitely a hot topic,” Lemieux said.

“We promote a safe environment, and that includes addressing the smoking issues,” she said.

On a white board in her office that outlines the “Wish List” for capital improvement projects at the major properties hangs a wooden sign with a red heart and the lettering “Choose Kindness.” “Yes, right now my residents are my ‘Number One’ concern, as it was for Laura. She had a great working relationship with the residents,” Lemieux said.

“Everyone has to be recertified every year to make sure they meet the income guidelines. I have the same goals that I’ve had working with other housing authorities: making someone’s life as beautiful as we can by providing safe and affordable housing,” she said.

Lemieux cites her experience in working on capital improvement projects as one of her major strengths as she begins work in Saugus. Among the big projects she is considering are roof replacements at Laurel Gardens and Laurel Towers. A rundown gazebo is visible from the window in her office. “We’re going to be giving it a facelift,” Lemieux said.

“There will also be curb appeal at all properties. We’re going to beautify each property.”


“I’m blessed to have this staff.”

  She said she will also stress training and continued education for staff. “Our jobs are constantly changing – in the rules and regulations. It’s important to keep up with that,” she said.

Lemieux said she is “very impressed” with the Housing Authority staff that Glynn has left behind. “I’m blessed to have this staff. I’m very impressed with what I see with the developments, the maintenance people and all of the staff,” she said.

“I have a great and supportive staff,” she said.

The maintenance staff consists of four full-time employees and two part-time workers. There are plans to hire two additional positions to work in the Housing Authority Office. One would be a state-aided housing manager. There will also be a residential services coordinator. The authority currently has six office staff, including Glynn.

Lemieux said she has already found housing in an area community “10 minutes away.” “I’m definitely enjoying the food. There are a lot of great restaurants in the area,” she said.

She has also discovered the challenges of driving on Route 1. “Route 1 is very scary,” she said.

“One of my biggest troubles is going to be navigating Route 1,” she said.


Separating the job from her private life

Lemieux doesn’t mind answering any questions when it comes to her new job, including the challenges and expectations. But she declined to talk about her personal life, not even her age or whether she has family.

“My family is proud of me,” she said.

“They chose to love me. They chose not to be involved in my career. My family is very private. I don’t talk about the job with them,” she said.


The Katelynn Lemieux Resume


  (The following are highlights from application material submitted by Katelynn Lemieux to the Saugus Housing Authority.)



  • Executive Director, Saugus Housing Authority – April 1, 2024–Present.
  • Tenant selector, Georgetown Housing Authority – April 2022–Feb. 2024. Screening of applicants and tenant selection
  • Executive Director, Wilmington Housing Authority Jan. 2022–Feb. 2024. Directed a part-time office with three employees. Managed a total of 69 units of elderly/handicapped housing, 13 units of family housing and 11 housing choice voucher program units.
  • Public Housing and State Voucher Coordinator, Melrose Housing Authority, Aug. 2020–March 2022. Oversaw 305 units of state-aided elderly/disabled housing, 17 units of state-aided family housing
  • Consultant, LHA’s of Massachusetts, May 2019–Present. Trained staff on the State-Aided Public Housing Applicant Waitlist, CHAMP
  • Housing Manager and Tenant Selector, Amesbury and Merrimac Housing Authorities, July 2017–July 2020. As the housing manager and tenant selector, oversaw 297 units of state elderly/disabled and family housing programs in Amesbury and Merrimac.
  • Administrative Assistant/Receptionist, Ozzy Properties, Feb. 2016–July 2017. Acted as a liaison been existing/potential tenants and members or property management

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