For Immediate Release
December 23, 2011
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino presented an affordable housing voucher to a homeless family who will move into a new home this New Year and announced that 500 additional homeless families are receiving similar housing subsidies and stabilization services through a partnership between the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) and the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) called Home for the Holidays. The effort ensures that Mayor Menino’s “Leading the Way 3” initiative has reached its goal of reducing homelessness among Boston families by 50 percent.
Christie French and her two children have been homeless and staying in a scattered site shelter since January of this year due to a foreclosure. With the voucher presented to her by Mayor Menino, she and her family will be moving into a new home January 1.
“I am pleased to not only provide these families with housing but also with the services they need to get back on their feet and to maintain their housing status and provide a better life for themselves and their children,” said Mayor Menino. “This is what the ‘Leading the Way’ initiative is all about.”
Under the new partnership, the DHCD is in the process of selecting 500 families that have been in shelters the longest to receive federal tenant-based Section 8 vouchers that can be used to rent an apartment in the private marketplace. The vouchers allow families to pay approximately 30 percent of their income toward rent. DHCD will provide each family with relocation assistance and eighteen months of case management and stabilization services to ensure that they are able to live independently and maintain their housing going forward.
“Providing homes to these families through the holidays is the first step to helping them get back on their feet,” said BHA Administrator Bill McGonagle. “We are happy that they have a new home to look forward to for the upcoming New Year.”
DHCD currently has approximately 1,100 families living in shelter motels due to homelessness. The families will be referred to the BHA for the subsidy based on length of time in shelter which will allow those families who have been in shelter longest to be served first.
The BHA is providing the federal Section 8 vouchers at an annual value of about $6 million. DHCD is providing 18 months of case management services along with relocation assistance for each eligible family valued at about $2.5 million. The Home for the Holidays program will save Massachusetts taxpayers approximately $12 million per year as keeping families in the state shelter system costs about $25,500 per household annually.
The BHA is also providing 200 public housing apartments to homeless Boston families through a separate partnership with the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP). These families will receive case management and stabilization services as well. Additionally, 75 BHA public housing apartments are being provided to homeless women with at-risk pregnancies under a third partnership with the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC).
# # #