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Coalition Work


Coalition Work | Partnerships | Government Presentations | Press Releases

HousingWorks works with all like-minded housing groups, inside and outside of government. Recent coalition efforts are highlighted below.

Coalition Work

Boston Housing Authority Working Group
The Boston Housing Authority Working Group, was assembled by BHA to design the program proposed by Mayor Marty Walsh and described in the paragraphs above. Many of the original Rent Subsidized Coalition Members, as well as other stakeholder groups in Boston, are in meetings as of March 2020 to envision the ways the benefits of this new pilot program could be maximized. The budget for this pilot is $5M, which is a drop in the bucket, so it is imperative that the outcomes be so successful that more money can be requested in future years.

Picture Forthcoming

Starting with too many excellent ideas, the first meeting was surprisingly successful
in drafting an overall structure for this pilot program, which will launch sometime
by the end of 2020 if all goes well. Stay tuned for more information!

The Working Group included BHA Staff, Greater Boston Legal Services, Project Hope, HomeStart, Department of Neighborhood Development, and representatives from Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants, The Mass Assn of CDCs, HousingWorks, Vida Urbana, and other groups.

Learn more about the mission and scope of the Boston Housing Authority

Boston Rent Subsidy Coalition Meeting at Boston City Hall
WHAT YOU'RE SEEING: The City Rent Subsidy Coalition, a Boston-based housing advocacy coalition, has been pushing for approximately five years for a new program. Our proposal was to supplement the federal Section 8 program by increasing low income units in new mixed income housing and providing “Housing First” for Boston residents who are currently experiencing homelessness. Many meetings were needed, but the outcome of this meeting on 2019 Novermber 14 was that the Mayor's office changed course and agreed to the main idea of the initiative. Data and ideas presented by HousingWorks was instrumental in helping to push this great initiative over the finish line; On 2020 January 7th, the Mayor proudly announced the launch of this historic new program - and Boston became only the second city in the country to pursue this idea. HousingWorks will continue to work with the Coalition to expand this program's capacity over time.

Data and commentary supplied by HousingWorks was one of the factors that enlisted the Mayor's support at this
2019 11 14 Meeting at Boston City Hall with Justin Sterritt, Boston's Director of the Budget Office.

Coalition Leader Michael Kane - Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants and representatives from many organizations, including HousingWorks, Fenway CDC, ACT UP/Boston, Babcock Towers Tenants Association (Brighton), Boston Homeless Solidarity Committee, Boston Jobs Coalition, Boston Tenant Coalition, Forbes Building Tenants Association (Jamaica Plain), Fenway Community Development Corporation, Greater Boston Legal Services,Homeless Empowerment Project,Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation,Keep it 100 for Real Affordable Housing and Racial Justice, Mass Association of Community Development Corporations,Mass Budget for All Coalition,Mass Coalition for the Homeless,Mass Community Action Network,Mass Peace Action,Maloney Properties,Material Aid and Advocacy Program,Newcastle Saranac Tenants Association (Lower Roxbury),Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation,Poor Peoples United Fund,Sandi Padellaro, Mercantile Wharf Tenants Association (North End,Save Our Section 8/City Policy Committee, South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation,Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation,Union of Minority Neighborhoods.

Learn more about (or join) MAHT and the City Rent Subsidy Coalition here

Right to the City and Homes for All
WHAT YOU'RE SEEING: Right to the City Alliance - Summit Sept 2018 Right To The City Alliance (RTTC) emerged in 2007 as a unified response to gentrification and a call to halt the displacement of low-income people, people of color, marginalized LGBTQ communities, and youths of color from their historic urban neighborhoods. It is a national alliance of racial, economic and environmental justice organizations with a strong Boston coalition.

Members of HousingWorks are proud supporters of this City-Wide coalition, and
regularly attend meetings and rallies sponsored by coalition members.

Learn more about (or join) the national and locate Right to the City coalitions

Vida Urbana Rallies and Marches
WHAT YOU'RE SEEING: Boston's Worst Landlords are often well-known but somehow are allowed to continue to operate. This particular rally drew attention to a particular landlord with an extraordinary number of court-recognized violations of health codes in his rental units, as well as violations of tenants and tenants' rights.

Members of HousingWorks bring bodies - and t-shirts - in support of this and many other rallies.

Learn more about Via Urbana here


Operation ABLE
"Since 1982, Operation ABLE a 501(c)3 organization, has provided job seekers with training programs and employment services. Our mission and passion is to empower our community of job seekers, the underemployed, those in career transition and military veterans who need job support services to re-enter the workforce."

One of Operation ABLE's most admirable programs is the on in which they train low-income persons in extensive use of MS Office, and then place their graduates in temporary internships around the city, to give the trainees experience, start a resume, and to allow them to collect letters of recommendation. A number of these applicants are homeless or at-risk. On any given day, HousingWorks is working with one or two of these graduates, and benefitting from their work ethic and deep understanding of the application process for low-income housing. We have seen a number of these graduates of Operation ABLE go on to good-paying jobs, and have been proud to write recommendation letters and to serve as a reference. Sometimes, these interns are themselves seeking housing, and they use our system to find and apply to it; in addition to helping them locate and apply to housing, we at HousingWorks benefit because we learn exactly where any barriers or confusion may exist on the site - and we re-design aspects of the site, to make it more and more accessible to all. The result is that we provide not only the first such tool, but also the easiest-to-use affordable housing search/apply tool in the country.
Learn more about Operation ABLE

Emmanuel College
"Organizations across a wide range of industries and from locations from Greater Boston and beyond have had tremendous success employing Emmanuel graduates. For at least the last eight years, HousingWorks has benefitted from placements recommended by the school, and from students locating us through the Career Center program. These interns have revolutionized parts of our business, notably in the day-to-day operations, website navigability, invoicing and accounting, and marketing. Many have gone on to high-paying jobs in the private sector, in part thanks to the recommendations of our grateful company." The most exciting new deveopment is that Emmanual College has decided to pilot a new program: normally it holds a competition among graduating business students to solve a problem or design a solution for a fictional company; in 2020, Emmanuel College decided to try this using a real company, and selected HousingWorks as the test company. We are working closely with them
Learn more about Emmanuel College and the Career Center

Government Presentations

HousingWorks asked to provide testimony before Boston City Council Hearing on Vacant Affordable Units
WHAT YOU'RE SEEING: HousingWorks was invited to provide testimony before a hearing at Boston City Copuncil. That morning, we were notified that all presentations were restricted to only a few mniutes, so presenters were scrambling to cut slides. The three panelists participating in the same panel did not realize that the Council as a group decided to extend our testimony because we ended up presenting and answering questions for more than an hour.

Watch the video of the hearing:

HousingWorks testimony begins at 1:25:29

Learn more about HousingWorks' real-time data reports here

Press Releases

2020 03 15: HousingWorks celebrates its 20th anniversary as the first Search / Apply - Centralized Waitlist - Data Reporting tool in the Country

2020 03 15: HousingWorks celebrates its 20th anniversary - State House Press version (shorter version)

2020 01 07: MAHT Press Release (includes HousingWorks quote)

2015 07 19: HousingWorks Launches a Comprehensive Redesign assisted by famed NuCivic team.

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