“Tell the landlords we want to thank them!”- New Lease Family
Massachusetts Faces a Human Crisis
In 2012, the number of families residing in Massachusetts’s shelter/motel system reached a record high; over 2,000 families were living in shelters, and over 1,700 families were staying in state-funded motels. Today almost 5,000 homeless families sleep in shelter or state-assisted motel beds each night. Massachusetts spends over $160 million per year on the family shelter system.
Housing Owners Respond
Affordable housing owners in Massachusetts came together to respond to this complex problem. Participating affordable housing owners decided to offer 10-15% of their vacant, affordable units per year to families in the shelter/motel system. To accomplish these goals, the participating housing owners decided to form a new non-profit, New Lease for Homeless Families. New Lease was charged with creating a systematic, efficient framework of pairing homeless families with available units, while complying with all fair housing and regulatory requirements. New Lease also works with participating social service providers to standardize and enhance supportive services for families who are housed through our program to ensure they have the tools they need to thrive in their tenancies.
Creation of New Lease for Homeless Families
New Lease was created in late 2012, and administering staff were hired in early 2013.
In late August, 2013, New Lease became the first organization in the nation to establish a homeless family preference in HUD Multifamily housing. The first families signed leases in November, 2013.
New Lease pairs homeless families with affordable units in five regions of Massachusetts:
- Greater Boston
- South Shore
- North Shore/Merrimack Valley
- Framingham (Metro-West)
Click here to find out ways you can help respond to the crisis of family homelessness in Massachusetts as a concerned citizen, fellow agency or affordable housing developer.