Monday, May 4, 2015

Boston Housing Authority awarded $3 million to increase economic independence of low-income public housing residents

News from NHC's family of members
by Radiah Shabazz, National Housing Conference



Last month NHC member Boston Housing Authority (BHA) was awarded $2 million from HUD and $1 million from the City of Boston to increase economic independence for families living in the Charlestown public housing development. The efforts of the Jobs-Plus grant will assist low-income residents to find higher wage jobs through job search and placement, financial literacy assistance and increasing education levels of public housing residents.

The place-based Jobs-Plus program addresses poverty among resident of public housing by enabling employment and a set of services designed to support work, like counseling, job placement and employer linkages. Boston Housing was one of 57 other applicants across the nation competing for the grant, which will develop job-driven approaches to increase earnings and advance employment outcomes for residents.

“This grant will help ensure that our residents have the opportunities they need to increase their incomes and quality of life going forward,” BHA Administrator, Bill McGonagle said in a press release. Mayor Marty Walsh added, “This funding will boost the expansion of high school equivalency and provide opportunities to residents in low-income public housing.”

With thirty-five percent of Charlestown residents lacking a high school diploma, the program for adults aged 18 to 64 will not only help them to gain high school equivalency and further their education, but also foster an environment where residents have access to quality jobs. One of NHC’s policy priorities is to improve the lives of low-to moderate-income families by recognizing the links between affordable housing, health, education and other services. We’ll extend the dialogue around understanding these important connections on June 12 at our Annual Policy Symposium.

In addition to the City of Boston, other partners who provided funding or services to BHA include Boston Private Industry Council, Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, Boston College, John F. Kennedy Family Service Center and NHC member Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

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