Federal and state funding for affordable housing is not keeping up with demand. As cities around the country continue to gentrify and become too expensive for many to afford, we need new programs to help low-income people remain in their homes.
Housing is a right: it is time for cities to start treating it that way.
Mass Alliance of HUD tenants is working with the Boston Homeless Solidarity Committee (BHSC) and Save Our Section 8 (SOS8) to get Boston to protect its low-income residents from displacement and rehouse its homeless population by launching a city-funded voucher program.
This type of program works: we have seen it thrive in DC. Meanwhile, our waiting list is growing and more and more families are being displaced as Boston gentrifies. We cannot allow Boston to become a city for the rich. We cannot continue to allow families who have lived here their whole lives to be displaced.
We propose a pilot program: $5 million for about 400 vouchers. 400 is roughly the number of people displaced when when Boston abruptly closed its Long Island Shelter. With no plan in place, these people were forced back onto the street or into warehouse conditions with people sleeping on floor mats in row after row.
We need housing, not warehousing. Not only is this the only human route, it is a win-win. A HUD study shows that housing-first is at least as cost effective as other options, and frequently more so.
If you are in the Boston-area, and want to help make the case to the city, email us at MAHT@SaveOurHomes.org.
Together, we can make housing a right in Boston and beyond!