Latest Update from HTF: SAVE THE DATE! Nov 30, 2021 6:30pm

BPL/ NABB Request for Participation: ACCEPTED BY BPL and COUNCILOR KENZIE BOK

    PROGRAM THEME:  AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION IN BOSTON

Sponsored by the BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY AND THE Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB) Homelessness Task Force (HTF)

BACKGROUND: The Corona virus has had a devastating impact on businesses and vulnerable populations in our city and throughout the State. Resulting job loss, decreased wages, evictions and revenue shortfalls portend troublesome times ahead. At the same time, the pandemic has provided new insights to re-envision a more stable housing situation in our city and state. This BPL/NABB program will update the greater community on the current state of affordable housing in the City and State, recent legislative and regulatory initiatives, and budget considerations. The program will be divided into a 2 -part zoom series of 90 minutes each with endurable material available on the BPL and NABB website. The program goal is to increasing public understanding of promising models to ensure access to affordable housing and deeply affordable housing as alternatives as a public health benefit for all.  Many of the potential speakers have already been contacted and expressed an interest in participating.

ZOOM/WEBINAR 1 – BOSTON’S AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLANS: Solutions for Seniors, Boston’s Workforce and the Unhoused

Dates preferred by BPL /November 30, 2021, 6:30-8PM

  1. City of Boston plans for various housing types- Sheila Dillon or Leila Bernstein as Mayor’s representative
  2. Investments Required: Boston City Council; Ways& Means/Kenzie Bok &Lydia Edwards
  3. Business community Contributions – Boston Chamber of Commerce
  4. Role of neighborhoods in supporting deeply affordable housing –Beacon Corporation

ZOOM/ WEBINAR  2-A REGIONAL APPROACH TO BOSTON’S HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS PROBLEMS–   FEBRUARY TBD, 2022 

  1. Recent legislation to incentivize affordable housing throughout the state- Senator Will Brownsberger and /or Governor’s representative
  2. Cost- Effective housing models for decongestion of homeless shelters- micro units

Joe Finn Executive director of MHASA -MA HOUSING AND SHELTER ALLIANCE

  1. Pandemic’s impact and reuse of empty buildings – Expert on building reuse -TBD

NABB History and Experience: In 2019 NABB established an active homelessness task force comprised of neighborhood residents with the goals to better understand the problem and to advocate for effective policies and services.  In 2019 NABB and the BPL presented a “Homelessness” forum in the RABB Hall which was attended by 330 Boston residents.  The forum presented 6 panelists comprised of City officials and service organization leaders and an interactive discussion with the audience. (See NABB website Homelessness Committee for details )  The program received very positive reviews and was covered extensively in the media. This program will be publicized through the general media, BPL Central Education Department and social media of various neighborhood organizations throughout the City.

SUBMITTED BY Kathleen T. Young and Vicki C. Smith -cochairs, NABB HTF, updated 9/1/2021