City funded housing vouchers? It’s time Boston.
A city funded housing voucher program to help end homelessness? Well, they created one in Washington DC. Waltham is even starting its own program to help alleviate the city’s homeless and housing crisis.
For over a year now, Boston Homeless Solidarity Committee, ACT UP/Boston, Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants, Save Our Section 8 and other groups have been pressuring the City of Boston to take care of their own and create and fund just this sort of program.
There are advantages to a city funded voucher program. Boston would be able to set up its own criteria for who qualifies. The city can also make some vouchers transitional so those who are not seriously mentally ill, sick or disabled, but are homeless due to being unemployed, for example, can use it to get a temporary leg up. They then could have the voucher passed on to someone else in need. The city can also create a higher rent payment ceiling than HUD to better meet Boston’s high rents. Landlords throughout the city would also benefit (not that they are hurting of course).
Sadly, Boston has seemed more interested in warehousing the homeless in shelters than funding less costly, permanent solutions that actually save money and stabilize and save lives. If the city can afford tax breaks and a helipad for GE, or extreme overtime costs for the BPD, why not fund a program for its own struggling homeless residents? Join us at City Hall Monday to put the pressure on the City of Boston. Also, call the Mayor AND call your local and at large City Councilors now at 617.635.3040 and demand action!