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Norfolk Street Congregate Housing

Norfolk Street Housing
Norfolk Street Congregate Housing

116 Norfolk St., Cambridge, MA

Norfolk Street opened in 1975 and was one of the first congregate housing programs in Massachusetts. Norfolk Street Congregate Housing is a public-private venture. The Cambridge Housing Authority subsidizes the rent and the Office of Elder Affairs provides funds for social service coordination. The funds are contracted to New Communities Services, Inc. a non-profit 501 (c) 3 Massachusetts Corporation to manage the facility and provide social service coordination to the individual residents. The thirty-seven (37) units are subsidized and each tenant pays 30% of their income for rent. The Social Service Coordinator provides information about appropriate services and support in acquiring and maintaining needed services so as to enhance each resident’s ability to age in place appropriately. In recent years the program has been successful in housing elders and disabled persons who are homeless or who are ready to leave a skilled nursing facility.

Congregate housing is shared living. Norfolk Street Congregate is the renovated convent for St. Mary’s Church located near Central Square on Norfolk Street in Cambridge, MA. There are 37 units on four residential floors. The first floor has high ceilings, a large dining room, sitting room and activity room with a large color television. Each residential unit consists of a lavatory with toilet and sink and about 500 sq. ft. of living space. Residential units are located on four floors and each floor has a spacious kitchen and shower rooms that are shared by residents of that floor.

Starting in early 2010 Norfolk Street Congregate Housing underwent building  repairs and updates to all the security systems.  The interior hard wood floors were refinished, staircases carpeted, additional hand rails installed and new lever handles were installed on all unit doors.

In the spring of 2011 a new elevator was installed and the backyard drainage was enhanced.  Hosta plantings were added in 2012. The Cambridge Housing Authority was successful in qualifying Norfolk Street for the funding that put many laborers to work completing these projects at 116 Norfolk Street.

For more information or to make a referral to 116 Norfolk Street please call 617-547-3543, ext. 123.


Program Director

Liz Olson, LICSW

Ms. Olson holds a MSW from Boston University School of Social Work, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, a Certified Housing Manager and Tax Credit Specialist.  Liz has worked for NCS for over 15 years, formerly as the Social Service Coordinator for Norfolk St., and now as the Property Manager for St. Paul's Residence, the Program Director at Norfolk Street, and the Grants Manager for the company.

Housing Manager

Lidia Pereira

After a hiatus of two years from New Communities Services Housing division, Ms. Pereira was appointed the Manager for New Communities Services at 116 Norfolk Street, Cambridge, MA on January 2, 2017. 116 Norfolk Street is a part of the Congregate Housing program of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs and opened in 1975. Ms. Pereira, attended Mt. Ida College and is a certified Housing Manager and Tax Credit specialist. Further, Ms. Pereira is bi-lingual in Cape Verdean Creole and Spanish. In addition to her responsibilities at 116 Norfolk Street, Ms. Pereira provides support to the New Communities Services housing portfolio, which includes social services at Ellen S. Jackson Apartments located on Blue Hill Avenue in Roxbury, MA and management services for the Independent Living Project located on Hyde Park Avenue in Hyde Park, Boston. Ms. Pereira joined the New Communities Services housing management team in 2004 as manager of affordable housing properties that then included: Uphams Corner Market Residential, Columbia West Apartments both located in Dorchester, MA, and the Independent Living Project located in Hyde Park, MA. Each of these affordable housing sites include a program for individuals with special needs and services to ensure continued tenancy and independence. Ms. Pereira has 13 years of affordable housing management experience that includes community building, computer assisted management systems, lease enforcement and a “can do” approach to a range challenges that can occur in housing management.

Social Services Coordinator

Susan Lilja  LMT, RM

Ms. Lilja holds a bachelors in Sociology from UMASS/Boston, and a concentration in Women's studies. She has a long history working with the mentally ill, developmentally disabled and brain injured. Currently she is studying to get her LSW. She is the Social Services Coordinator at Norfolk Street.

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