For Immediate Release - March 22, 2012

GOVERNOR PATRICK SIGNS BILL TO CREATE SUPPORTIVE HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS

BOSTON – Thursday, March 22, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today signed House Bill 3963, “An Act Relative to Community Housing and Services,” legislation that will promote supportive housing for the Commonwealth’s homeless, individuals with disabilities and elders. The legislation calls for the development of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) across state agencies to create housing opportunities that combine affordability with voluntary services for the most vulnerable populations.

Community Housing
Governor Patrick is joined by legislators and advocates at the signing of H. 3963 “An Act Relative to Community Housing and Services.” (Photo credit: Eric Haynes / Governor’s Office). View full size photo.

The goal of the MOU is to promote the procurement and availability of supportive housing for low-income residents of the Commonwealth. Specifically, the MOU must:

  • Facilitate the development of a demonstration program that would create up to 1,000 units of permanent supportive housing by December 31, 2015,
  • Require agencies to assess the need for permanent supportive housing to serve the Commonwealth’s homeless or at-risk of homelessness, citizens with disabilities and elders, and
  • Establish a long-term target to produce new supportive housing opportunities to meet the Commonwealth’s need. 

The MOU will be between state agencies within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and Commission for the Blind, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, the Department of Veterans Services, the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency and Housing Partnership, and the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation.

The bill also requires the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to study the establishment of a comprehensive ombudsman program to service the needs of the Commonwealth’s elderly residents.   

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