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HUD   >   State Information   >   Massachusetts   >   Stories   >   2013-12-11
Secretary Donovan Meets With Partners to Discuss New Massachusetts Homeless Initiative

(l to r) Secretary Donovan with Region 1 Administrator Barbara Fields and Larry Curtis, President of Winn Development, following a meeting in Boston to discuss Massachusetts' new initiative to house homeless families

During a recent visit to Boston, MA, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan met with HUD staff and partners involved in an innovative new initiative to house homeless families. The program called New Lease will make more than 400 units of housing in 41 private developments available for homeless families over the next two years. The HUD Boston Office of Multifamily Housing worked with the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development to approve an admissions preference and regulatory waiver for homeless families residing in the state Emergency Assistance Shelter program. HUD Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity staff in Region 1 was also involved in providing advice and guidance on the preference.

Affordable housing developers in the state have agreed to offer between 10 and 15 percent of their vacant units per year to homeless families coming out of motels, hotels and shelters. These developers have also agreed to fund two staff positions that will run the program and provide necessary supports.

This program is believed to be the first initiative in the country to address homelessness using privately-owned HUD-assisted housing on this scale.