Nothing is Simple

(The Boston Globe recently published an editorial “Letting towns solve the Mass. housing shortage.”  Sarah Duffy of Metro Housing submitted the following response to the Globe.) 

By Sarah Duffy, RAFT Case Manager

Governor Bakers Housing Choice bill will help towns by implementing a simple majority vote, but for people like me and thousands of others, nothing is simple.  There is nothing simple about realizing you are homeless after just graduating college. There is nothing simple about having a $70,000 college loan debt hanging over your head while being expected to come up with over $4,000 for start-up costs for an apartment smaller than the dorm you just left.

Ironically, though I work as a housing case manager at Metro Housing|Boston, I myself have battled homelessness for the last nine years, often resorting to nights in the driver’s seat of my car. Those who fall into the low and extremely low income brackets are either relocated to suburban communities, or risk losing their vouchers when project-based buildings are bought and sold like pieces on a Monopoly board. I agree with the Globe’s editorial that zoning laws will not cure all of Massachusetts’ housing woes. And as the housing crisis continues to worsen, particularly for families that I work with every day, focus on our neighbors with very low incomes needs to remain a priority.

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