Housing Community Partnerships
Community partnerships are very important to the breadth, effectiveness and vitality of all aspects of our housing work. Below are highlighted some of our current collaborative initiatives.
Preserving Affordable Housing
- We collaborate closely with Chelsea Public Housing tenants, the Boston Housing Authority Resident Advisory Board, the Boston Rental Housing Resource Agency, Boston Aging Concerns, Young and Old United, ABCD, Boston Tenant Coalition, HUD Tenant Alliance, Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and numerous other organizations in the city that work closely with tenants in subsidized housing.
- We work proactively in subsidized developments with neighborhood community development corporations such as the Allston-Brighton CDC, the Asian CDC, the Fenway CDC, the Neighborhood CDC, and Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH). We also work closely with statewide organizations such as Citizen Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA).
- GBLS Housing Unit staff sit on the city of Boston's Elderly Housing Task Force and assist in identifying the many housing issues faced by Boston seniors as well as victims of domestic violence.
- We work with the Boston Tenants Coalition to insure that the city of Boston’s housing preservation and production policy, 'Leading the Way,' is targeted toward clients with the greatest need.
- We collaboratae with the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (HLAB) and City Life/Vida Urbana (CLVU) on post-foreclosure issues. These three organizations were recently awarded a $1.8 million grant from the Oak Foundation to continue this work.
- The Housing Unit works with the Harvard legal Aid Bureau (HLAB) and Wilmer Hale Legal Services Center (LSC) as well as community organizations including City Life/VIda Urbana, the Northside Bank Tenants, Chelsea Collaborative, Lynn United for Change, Merrimack Valley Project) to defend tenants and homeowners from eviction.
- Housing Unit attorneys use the Boston Housing Court’s 'Attorney of the Day' project and the 'SUN Initiative' of Boston Community Capital (BCC) to help former owners repurchase their homes at their present value.
Access to Emergency Shelters and Expanding Housing Options for the Homeless
- We collaborates closely with Mass Law Reform Institute (MLRI) and Mass. Coalition for the Homeless (MCH) on the larger picture needs and situation of the homeless population.
- We work with Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services (CASLS) and MLRI to develop/update materials on this issue for a wide range of housing advocates and to provide support for the monthly meetings of the Homestart housing search/stabilization network.
- The GBLS Housing Unit, CASLS, and MLRI have collaborated on legislation to try to improve emergency shelter access for homeless and at-risk clients.
Empowering Public Housing Residents
- GBLS has provided staffing support for BHA’s Resident Advisory Board (RAB) since 1999 and has also been involved in the Quincy Public Housing Agency (PHA) plan process.
- Over the past year, Boston Housing Authority (BHA) has made a big push for resident empowerment and the GBLS Housing Unit has gotten involved along with MLRI, Mass. Senior Action Council, Committee for Boston Public Housing, and resident leaders. When BHA tenant organizations request assistance to revise bylaws or for organizing campaigns, we respond.
- We are part of the Housing Justice Network’s Public Housing and Voucher Workgroup and participated in the national convening of public and assisted housing residents with HUD. In that context, we periodically comment on major HUD rulemaking that affects public housing residents.