Tuesday, February 9, 2010

HCA's New Program

Exciting news--here is HCA's press release about our new program:



Arlington, MA – (February 8, 2010) – The Town of Arlington has selected Housing Corporation of Arlington (HCA), a non-profit organization working to prevent homelessness and provide more affordable housing, as the lead agency for Arlington’s Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP). This new federal initiative is aimed at assisting very low-income households for up to eighteen months. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, $1.5 billion will be distributed to 400 communities across the country for homelessness prevention services. Starting in January, HCA began assisting Arlington residents struggling to stay in their housing.

Like the rest of the country, Arlington residents have fallen on hard times. Many have lost their jobs, and for some, unemployment has run out. Those who were self-employed—consultants, small business owners, and others—are struggling to find work and have no safety net. Families and individuals are left to look for other ways to make ends meet: doubling up with relatives, reluctantly using credit cards and leaving bills unpaid.

HCA has experienced a steep rise in the number of Arlington residents seeking assistance. In the last six months of 2009, those requesting help from HCA increased by 70% over the previous year. A month before HCA’s annual HPF appeal went out to the Arlington community, HCA had virtually run out of funds to help Arlington residents stabilize their housing situation. Although the small HPF grants given to families and individuals in danger of becoming homeless are helpful to many, it was clear that the demand for assistance was outpacing the resources that HCA could provide.

Arlington’s HPRP provides short- and medium-term assistance and services to families and individuals who are homeless or in danger of homelessness due to circumstances arising out of the downtown in the US economy. Unlike HCA’s original Homelessness Prevention Fund (HPF), which only gives short-term grants for housing assistance, the HPRP will help very low-income households with rent assistance and other housing-related services for up to eighteen months.

HCA Executive Director, David J. Levy, is pleased to take on this new challenge, “Not only does this program save taxpayers from paying towards the shelter system, but it helps families and individuals to remain in their homes or find stable housing. This perfectly aligns with HCA’s mission.”