MBHP: Governor’s budget a good first step toward ending homelessness

January 26, 2012


MBHP: Governor’s budget a good first step toward ending homelessness

BOSTON – Emergency assistance reforms proposed in Governor Deval Patrick’s Fiscal Year
2012 budget are a good start toward eliminating homelessness in Massachusetts.

The changes, which shift some of the state’s emergency shelter funding toward rental housing
assistance and support services, will help providers tailor resources to individual family needs
and help develop a network of support for families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

“Our research and experience has shown that a support network coupled with rental assistance
can help families transition from shelter to housing and assist with a family’s long-term housing
stability,” said Chris Norris, executive director of the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership.

“The changes the governor has proposed will begin Massachusetts’ transition from a shelterbased strategy to a housing-based strategy and will empower collaborating providers with
resources they need to make a difference.”

Although shelter remains an appropriate, effective tool for families in emergency situations,
shifting resources for others to housing will not just help stabilize families but may also save the
state money. Once realized, these savings can be directed back into the emergency assistance
program to provide additional and better support services and assist more people.

The proposed emergency assistance reforms are consistent with the findings detailed in a
recently issued MBHP report examining the needs of more than 600 families who within the last
year were homeless and sheltered by the state in area motels.

Additionally, the governor’s budget essentially level funds the Massachusetts Rental Voucher
Program and other housing-related assistance so that families currently being served will not be
cut from these programs.

“It is true that available resources are inadequate to meet the current need; however, given the
current economic situation, we are happy that the governor proposed level funding for programs
that assist individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless,” said
Norris. “Housing stability is the cornerstone to the well-being of families and neighborhoods.”


MBHP is the state’s largest regional provider of rental housing voucher assistance. We serve
homeless, elderly, disabled, and low- and moderate-income individuals and families. Our region
spans Boston and 29 surrounding communities: Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Braintree
Brookline, Burlington, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Lexington, Lynn, Malden, Medford,
Melrose, Milton, Newton, North Reading, Quincy, Reading, Revere, Somerville, Stoneham,
Wakefield, Waltham, Watertown, Wilmington, Winchester, Winthrop and Woburn.

Our mission is to ensure that the region’s low- and moderate-income individuals and families
have choice and mobility in finding and retaining decent affordable housing; all of our programs
and initiatives are designed to encourage housing stability, increase economic self-sufficiency,
and enhance quality of the lives of those we serve. To achieve our mission and to promote
efficient service delivery, we work collaboratively with a broad array of service providers and
neighborhood-based organizations.

We believe that everyone deserves a place to call home.

For more information, contact MBHP Communications Manager Christopher Blagg at (617)
425-6691, or go to www.mbhp.org.


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