New Supportive Housing Units Bring Total Number Over 3,000, Tripling Governor Patrick’s Initial 1,000-Unit Goa
BOSTON – December 23, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Friday, December 19, 2014 –Department of Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein today announced more than $15 million in funding to create over 235 new units of supportive housing for veterans, homeless and very low income households across the Commonwealth. With these new units, the Patrick Administration has funded a total of 3,065 supportive housing units, tripling the amount of Governor Deval Patrick’s goal a year early.
“Governor Patrick has made permanent supportive housing a high priority because it is a key part of the solution to reducing homelessness over the long-term. By providing a range of support services–which may include workforce development, education, child care, or mental health services– our local non-profit partners can help to ensure a successful and sustainable tenancy.”
In December 2012, Governor Patrick announced a goal of creating 1,000 new units of supportive housing across the Commonwealth by December 2015. To reach this goal, 18 state agencies signed a memorandum of understanding partnering to improve existing processes, make recommendations for new, collaborative efforts and develop a long-range action plan to meet the need for supportive housing among the Commonwealth’s residents. The creation of the Commonwealth’s Interagency Supportive Housing Steering Committee and Working Group, co-chaired by the Secretaries of Housing and Economic Development and Health and Human Services, has played a critical role in helping Massachusetts reach this goal, and recently released a report celebrating this achievement.
Supportive housing helps individuals and families that are homeless or facing homelessness, institutionalized or at-risk of institutionalization, people with disabilities and the elderly. Additionally, the agencies continue to assess the extent of public cost-savings generated as a result of providing permanent supportive housing and will recommend strategic reinvestments.
In addition to a providing housing for families, supportive housing, which is operated in conjunction with a network of non-profit agencies across the Commonwealth, can include services such as childcare, access to job training, mental-health care and other opportunities that give participants a hand up towards stability and success.
Alongside these new supportive housing units, the Patrick Administration also awarded 149 project-based vouchers from the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP). The vouchers are available to owners of existing, affordable rental properties, who provide services or partner with an agency that has experience with successfully stabilizing homeless or very low-income households.
The MRVP vouchers allow homeless families to move into existing housing developments with long-term affordability restrictions. The non-profit agencies that own the properties provide participating families with comprehensive supportive service programs to help ensure that they do not fall back into the cycle of homelessness and emergency shelter, while helping them move toward stability and self-sufficiency. Funds for supportive services in the amount of $2,500 per unit will be used to provide a wide array of services, including job search and training, financial literacy and planning, self-sufficiency training and coaching, counseling, parenting, early education and childcare, mental health and addiction treatment, adult education, and GED and skills training.
“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has recognized the importance of creating quality supportive housing for communities in need and has been pro-active in creating an active pipeline for these projects,” said Roger Herzog, executive director of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC). “The awards that have been granted today will make sure that both much-needed housing and services are available to homeless families and individuals, persons with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and youth, among others.”
Earlier this month, Governor Patrick announced the launch of a Massachusetts Pay for Success (PFS) initiative that will leverage philanthropic and private capital investments to reduce chronic individual homelessness, creating a new model of sustainable state support for chronically homeless individuals. The initiative will provide 500 units of stable supportive housing for up to 800 chronically homeless individuals over 6 years, improving the well-being of individuals while saving taxpayer dollars by reducing the utilization of costly emergency resources like shelter and Medicaid payments.
In addition, DHCD has been committed to providing supportive housing for the Commonwealth’s veterans. The Department has awarded funds to produce 370 new units of affordable housing for low income veterans since the release 2013, exceeding the Patrick Administration’s three-year goal of 250 units.
The Patrick Administration continues to focus its efforts and resources on homelessness prevention and permanent housing to reduce the number of families living in hotels and at the same time to maintain one of the strongest safety nets in the country.
The following projects were announced today:
Harborlight House, Beverly
Harborlight House in Beverly is a supportive housing project serving frail low-income seniors who need various services in order to live with some degree of independence. The sponsor is an experienced non-profit, Harborlight Community Partners. When rehabilitation is finished, the project will house 30 seniors in a prime Beverly location.
Residences Betances, Boston
Residences Betances is located in the South End of Boston. Sponsored by the non-profit Inquilinos Boricuas En Accion (IBA), the project will house extremely low-income individuals with developmental challenges and diagnosed mental illness. The residents of the completed property will receive numerous services tailored to their individual needs. The completed property will feature four studios and seven single rooms.
Howard House, Brockton
Howard House in Brockton is a historic rehabilitation project that will offer 14 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans on the site of the Brockton VA Medical Center. The sponsor is a joint venture including Peabody Properties, Windover Development and Father Bill’s Mainspring. The project will receive extensive support from the federal Veterans Administration, as well as from the state. The homeless veterans who become Howard House residents will be offered numerous services tailored to fit their needs.
O’Connor Sisson, Dartmouth
O’Connor Sisson in Dartmouth is a rehabilitation project intended to serve homeless veterans in need of support services. The sponsor is the Dartmouth Housing Authority. The completed project will offer nine efficiency units for extremely low income veterans, who will receive extensive services such as employment counseling, financial planning and therapeutic counseling. In addition to state subsidies, the project will receive Community Preservation Act funds from the Town of Dartmouth.
4 Leighton Street, Fitchburg
4 Leighton Street in Fitchburg is a project that will provide 15 units of supportive housing for extremely low-income individuals, including individuals making the transition from homelessness. The experienced sponsor is the non-profit Twin Cities CDC. The completed project will offer extensive services to the new residents, including services to help residents maintain sobriety.
Harvard Elms, Harvard
Harvard Elms in Harvard is a new construction project intended to serve low and extremely low-income families, some of whom will participate in DHCD’s supportive housing initiative and will receive support services. The sponsor is the experienced non?profit CHOICE, based in Chelmsford. The project has been permitted locally through Chapter 40B. When completed, Harvard Elms will offer nine affordable units, including supportive housing units for families making the transition from homelessness.
20 Willis Street, New Bedford
20 Willis Street in New Bedford is a project intended to serve homeless veterans. The sponsor is the non-profit Southern Massachusetts Veterans Housing Program. When completed, Willis Street will offer 40 units of single-room supportive housing for homeless veterans, as well as community space, a kitchen and dining room, and service space. Extensive services will be available to the veterans who become Willis Street residents.
St. Mary’s, Boston
St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children is developing a 12-unit transitional housing program for pregnant and parenting young adults. Priority will be given to homeless families who face numerous obstacles to independent living. A full –time support service coordinator will help identify the services most needed by each young family.
Gifford Street, Falmouth
The Falmouth Housing Corporation will add support services for three homeless families to the Gifford Street project with funding from the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP). Supportive services will be provided by the Falmouth Housing Authority’s existing housing stabilization program. Specific services will include transition counseling, job placement assistance and direct case management.
Columbia Park, Haverhill
Emmaus Inc. will create 16 units of permanent, supportive housing for homeless families currently residing in emergency shelters/motels. Fourteen units will be located at Columbia Park Apartments in Haverhill, a 32-unit complex that Emmaus has owned since 1992. Two units will be sited in a two family house, also in Haverhill. Services will be provided through an expansion of Emmaus’ existing supportive housing program.
The Berkshire Fund in Western Massachusetts will use the Housing Preservation and Stabilization Trust Fund to provide MRVP subsidy and support services for four units of existing housing within a 23-unit supportive housing program serving high risk pregnant and parenting young adults. Families served by the program will receive specialized support services designed to help them become responsible tenants, self-sufficient and committed members of the community.
Harbor and Lafayette Homes, Salem
Sponsored by the North Shore Community Development Corporation, Harbor and Lafayette Homes will preserve two existing single room occupancy properties in Salem’s historic Point Neighborhood as 26 service-enriched, affordable apartments for low-income individuals, and one apartment for a resident manager. The 16 service-enhanced MRVP subsidies will serve extremely-low-income youth aging out of the foster care system. These tenants will receive a comprehensive package of supportive services from North Shore CDC.
Bixby Road, Spencer
This project will incorporate 11 supportive housing units within a 42-unit townhouse style family development in Spencer. The supportive housing units will be designed and structured for formerly homeless occupants who face particular life challenges, such as a chronic physical illness or disability, and who need support services. The services will be provided through a tenant supportive services program operated by the project sponsor, South Middlesex Opportunity Council.
Kenwyn and Quadrangle, Springfield
HAP Housing in Springfield will use eight Housing Preservation and Stabilization Trust Fund service-enhanced MRVP subsidies to assist homeless families as they transition from shelters, such as HAP’s Residential Resource Center, a temporary housing facility that provides shelter for 36 families. The MRVP subsidies will allow families to move into permanent rental housing at either Kenwyn or Quadrangle Court, and the support service dollars will permit the continuation of service delivery to the families in their new location. Services will include parenting classes, domestic violence counseling and financial education seminars.
E. Henry Twiggs Estates, Phase I, Springfield
Better Homes, Inc. is working on a plan to support the comprehensive redevelopment of 75 scattered site units in the Bay and Upper Hill neighborhoods of Springfield. As an integral part of the first phase of the project, Better Homes will convert 13 affordable rental units into permanent supportive housing for low income families. Services will be provided through an expansion of Better Home’s existing supportive housing partnership with HAP Housing, also of Springfield.
Juli Hanscom – 617-573-1102
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