Christmas has come for me twice this year; once, as usual on December 25 and again on December 30 as I open my new practice. Starting a new venture has been filled with the excitement of new experiences and it feels very much as it did when I was young and looking forward to opening my presents. The best gift of all is the delight of being able to work with great clients doing amazing work in helping working families achieve stability in new or rehabilitated affordable housing. Now that Christmas is over, my gaze is firmly on the horizon and the new year. I am looking ahead to the opportunity to build on and expand my work for housing developers, nonprofits and organizations who create the housing that shelters families in need.
As to that need, prior to the holidays there was a terrific piece on WBUR (replayed on NEPR here in Western Massachusetts) regarding the crisis of homelessness in Massachusetts. Even though I work in the field of community development and affordable housing, the statistics are still shocking. Ninety five thousand families are on waiting lists for Housing Choice Vouchers and a record number of families are now being housed in motels because there simply is not enough affordable housing for low and moderate income families in the Commonwealth. According to the article, Massachusetts has the sixth highest median rent in the nation and is spending millions of dollars to house families in motels. The average family stay in a motel is seven months. Imagine for a moment the difficulty of living in a motel room for seven months, possibly with one or more small children. As we climb out of the Great Recession, the after effects will no doubt be with us for many years to come.
If you are interested in the radio article on homelessness in Massachusetts, the link is:
(You can also learn more about the UMass football program.)