Yesterday I got an email from a woman whose address I didn’t recognize offering me a tarp, a couple of pillows and some sheets in case there has to be an emergency tent city in Springfield. Last night I went up to Mt. Holyoke College where a group of students were having a “Tent City Fundraiser” for Arise.
I told students I hoped that a tent city would not be necessary this year—but who knows? In this morning’s Republican, it says Western Mass has lost hundreds of subsidies in the last two years, with more than 10,000 people on a waiting list for affordable housing which is becoming scarcer every day.
For those in Springfield who think that subsidized housing is a breeding ground for crime, I must ask why crime continues while subsidized housing declines?
For those in homeless shelters hoping to receive one of the city’s 140 vouchers any time soon, I want to say, Don’t hold your breath. Is it going to be back to the drawing board for the city’s Homes within Reach plan?
Sen. John Olver, chair of the House Appropriations' Subcommittee on Housing, is tackling the subsidy shortage, trying to get appropriations back to the 2004 level.
In a statement released last month, Sen. Olver said, "In fact, if we merely adopt the president's budget for tenant-based rental assistance, it is estimated that we face a shortfall of $300 to $600 million. In other words, we would lose 40,000 to 80,000 vouchers currently in use. That translates to 40,000 to 80,000 families, elders and people living with disabilities that would be out on the street next year."
= = = = = = = =
Tom Devine has an interesting post on his blog about the mid-eighties efforts to uncover corruption in Mason Square that is still playing out today.