Mayor Menino announces grant for homeless veterans
Mayor Thomas M. Menino on Veterans Day announced a $97,000 grant to the New England Center for Homeless Veterans and called on property owners to rent an apartment to a hero looking for a place to call home.
The grant, funded by the City’s Department of Neighborhood Development, will enable the New England Center for Homeless Veterans to find affordable apartments for veterans, especially those who have been issued a VASH (Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing) voucher, which they can use to obtain rental assistance, case management and clinical services. Since 2009, Boston has successfully housed 292 formerly homeless veterans with VASH vouchers.
“Our veterans risked their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy today,” Mayor Menino said. “Now, it’s our turn to ensure these heroes have roofs over their heads and access to the assistance they need.”
In late 2011, the Mayor launched the Boston Continuum of Care Homeless and At-risk Advisory Group to mitigate homelessness among returning veterans.
The advisory group involved nearly 15 governmental and nonprofit entities that serve veterans, including the City of Boston’s Office of Veterans Affairs, the State Office of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Neighborhood Development, the Boston Public Health Commission, the Boston Housing Authority, Veterans Administration Health Care Services, the New England Center for Homeless Veterans, Pine Street Inn, St. Francis House, the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance, Project Place and HomeStart.
$141M in federal heating assistance for Massachusetts
Massachusetts will receive $141 million in federal funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Gov. Deval Patrick announced recently, an increase of $8.2 million more than last year’s funding.
The fuel assistance funds provide eligible households with help in paying a portion of their winter heating bills.
Eligibility for the program is based on household size and the gross annual income of every household member 18 years of age or older. The maximum income eligibility for LIHEAP is 60 percent of the estimated state median income. Benefit levels vary depending on household income.
Nationwide, LIHEAP assists more than 4.6 million low-income Americans in paying their heating bills.
Funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, LIHEAP is managed by The Department of Housing and Community Development in conjunction with 22 regional nonprofit and local government organizations that will distribute benefits to over 200,000 Massachusetts households in need.