CHRIC names Freifeld director

The Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation & Improve-ment Corporation recently named Joshua Freifeld, a native of Westfield, as its new executive director.

CHRIC is a not-for-profit agency that helps low- and moderate-income county residents repair and maintain their homes through grants, volunteerism, classes and programs. The organization has been in business since 1978. More recently, the organization spearheaded the campaign to restore and revitalize the famous Brocton Arches.

“Community development and housing rehab programs have always been our bread and butter,” Freifeld said. “That’s something we will certainly continue moving forward, but we’re trying to move it in some other directions here, so that’s what I’d like to see happen.”

Freifeld said the goals he would like to see for CHRIC are continued growth and historic preservation. He would like to see bigger grants coming in to the area for community development, which is one of the biggest areas for CHRIC.

“We’ve successfully completed the Brocton Arch Project,” he said. “We’re trying to work with Dunkirk Lighthouse to repair the roof that’s been leaking for a while. We are also working with the Bemus Point Streetscape Project to make it a little more walker- and user-friendly. We are trying to expand our efforts here as best we can.”

Before coming to the position of executive director, Freifeld worked as a program manager at the Redevelopment Authority for Erie, Pa., where he ran the Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Program and worked as a grant administrator. He lived in Chautauqua County for 15 years and said he has always looked for an excuse to move back to the area.

“When this opened up, I thought it was a great fit for what they offered and what my background was and I was certainly excited to come back to the county,” he said.

The new executive director also said he is looking forward to bringing strong leadership to CHRIC, which has had a bit of turmoil in its past. He is looking to bring back lost connections and foster new relationships in the county.

If you would like to contact CHRIC, you can call its Mayville offices at 753-4650 or go online to www.chric.org.

Comments on this article may be sent to gfox@observertoday.com.