MBHP Leads Community Meeting on Housing Issues

CAMBRIDGE- On Friday, March 22nd, The Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP) led a lively discussion on a host of housing issues concerning Cambridge residents. The meeting was hosted by the Cambridge YWCA.

Several Cambridge-based housing and human services organizations co-sponsored the meeting, leading to a robust conversation on affordable housing options and homelessness prevention for Cambridge’s more vulnerable residents. Organizations taking part included the Cambridge Housing Authority, the Alliance of Cambridge Tenants, the Cambridge Community Development Department, the Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs, the Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee, Just-a-Start Corp., and the Cambridge YWCA.

Members of the state legislature also added their support and sponsorship of the housing discussion. Senator Pat Jehlen (2nd Middlesex) remarked that housing issues are of a primary concern for her constituents. “No issue comes to us more frequently than housing, so we can’t thank MBHP enough for their work, and for leading this important discussion today,” said Jehlen.

Representative Marjorie Decker (25th Middlesex) also stressed the importance of making sure stable housing is available to all, bringing up her family’s history as proof. “I come from a family that relied on public services and housing, and so my life has been profoundly affected by these agencies like the ones that are here today,” said Decker. “It’s virtually impossible to do anything in your life- education, career, child care- without stable housing.”

MBHP led the discussion of available housing options, with staff members discussing programs such as the Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC), homelessness prevention programs like HomeBASE and RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition), as well as the state of the various rental assistance voucher programs (Section 8, MRVP). The participating organizations also engaged in explanations of their available programs.

The meeting ended with an informal conversation on various housing concerns and solutions offered up by the meeting’s participants. MBHP will be leading these community meetings in several cities and towns around Greater Boston in the coming months to help further bring housing issues to the forefront. As Representative Decker told the assembled crowd, “I encourage you all to not be afraid of having those tough conversations that bring out the dialogue in these complicated housing issues.”

***** 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.

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 visit www.mbhp.org.