Guiding much of the work at Fairstead is an overriding belief that affordable, Section-8
housing should be indistinguishable from homes at much higher price points. More often
than not, that means exceeding expectations of residents and other stakeholders.
At Festival Field in Newport, Rhode Island, exceeding expectations entailed earmarking
more than $17M for an ambitious property-wide renovation project. Fairstead transformed
this property of six three-story buildings with a blanket inside-and-out rehabilitation.
Roofs, siding, windows and boilers were redone or replaced. Interior upgrades included
the installation of eco-friendly kitchens and bathrooms, and new flooring and cabinetry.
The creation of UFAS-accessible units and a new community center are two more
indications that this is a property that welcomes everyone.
Fairstead has also taken over property management duties, which is essential to fulfilling
the company’s expressed intention to positively impact individual residents and their
community when and wherever possible. That includes ensuring a high standard of
property maintenance as well as an open line of communication with residents. Shortly
after Fairstead begins to manage a community, its representatives (on-site and off) meet
with residents to establish new procedures and assumptions. Among the most important:
all residents will be treated fairly and equally, with all resident requests responded to
quickly and followed up to ensure satisfaction.
Open lines of communication are necessary for other reasons. As a rule, Fairstead’s inhouse
social services team aims to establish regular communal events and life-assistance
programming tailored to residents’ particular wants. That requires both needs assessment
and program feedback. More often than not these offerings touch on areas crucial to
personal growth and success, including education, employment assistance, health and
wellness, food insecurity, and access to relevant government assistance programs.