Fitchburg Housing Authority Director of Customer and Application Services Yajaira Aldrich was presented with a certificate of appreciation at the FHA board meeting on last Wednesday morning at Daniel Heights, a thank you for her continued efforts in helping to provide housing for city residents.
“She has helped people in their worst conditions … and during pandemic she was always at her desk and available to help,” FHA Executive Director Doug Bushman said.
Aldrich was promoted to her position in August 2020 after being at the FHA since 2014 as a general clerk. She oversees staff responsible for all initial customer and application processing, including her hardworking assistant Sol Toro, and recently received her Massachusetts Public Housing Administrator certificate and completed a host of other courses in public housing and customer service.
“Thank you for the opportunity,” Aldrich said. “I love what I do.”
She said that when she was first approached by Bushman about taking over as director of customer and application services, she was hesitant to take the position.
“It caught me off guard, I slept on it for two days,” Aldrich recalled.
Once she decided to accept the offer, she hit the ground running. Bushman and the board members praised Aldrich for her tireless work ethic, noting her recent efforts with helping the survivors of the two city fires earlier this month and the resources event that took place for them at the Fitchburg Senior Center that the FHA was invited to.
“Your work with the victims of the Fitchburg fires was fantastic,” Bushman said. “You worked and stayed late.”
Bushman noted that besides him and FHA Deputy Director Andrew Skoog, the organization is “women-led and organized.” Aldrich said she is happy to help the people that the FHA assists.
“When people walk through that door they are not always at their best,” she said. “I’ve been there.”
Mayor Stephen DiNatale attended the meeting and gave props to Aldrich and the entire FHA team including the board for their dedication to city residents.
“This is a great organization,” he said. “You are providing such a wonderful service. I want to thank the board members who put their time into this.” Aldrich recently bought a house in the city.
“I’ve left the city, I’ve left the state, I’ve left the country, but I always come back,” she said. “This is home.”
Bushman said they “have not received one complaint concerning Yajaira’s interaction with the public or residents.”
“In fact, she is constantly praised for assisting people during their time of most need,” he said. “All of us want to thank Mrs. Aldrich for all that she has done for the FHA and the people we serve. She has set the example of what it means to be a great public servant.”