October 2021: Latest updates from the Department of Neighborhood Development
BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING
NHD Funding Round submissions
In response to a Request for Proposals for affordable rental, homeownership, and cooperative housing in need of funding, DND has received 23 applications! These potential award winners would produce 1,041 new affordable units and preserve an additional 106 out of a total of 1,186 proposed units. The interagency team from DND, the Community Preservation Fund, and the Neighborhood Housing Trust has some work to do, sorting through these thoughtful proposals to choose which projects to expend the $30 million that is available to award from City of Boston funding sources.
The final selection of approved proposals will be announced in early 2022.
Pictured: Submitted binders with proposalsNHD starts and completions
- Angell|Spencer Neighborhood Housing Initiative - 8 income-restricted homeownership units
- J.J. Carroll (pictured above) - Rebuilding 64 Boston Housing Authority elder units, and adding 77 income-restricted units
- Olmsted Green Phase 4 - 47 New income-restricted rental units
- 209 Chelsea St (AOP) - 3 affordable units preserved and income restricted
grassroots rfp coming soon
DND's Grassroots Program will once again offer funding for open space capital projects on land not in DND's inventory, including publicly-owned and privately-owned land. Only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are eligible, and projects must be located in low- to moderate- income neighborhoods as determined by US Census data.
Projects can include community gardens, urban farms, food forests, and other open space activities.
The RFP will be live by November 1. For more information including to inquire as to whether your project idea might be eligible, please contact Shani Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured: Clark Cooper Community Garden
COMMUNITY PARTNERS ANNOUNCED FOR RENTAL RELIEF FUND
The Office of Housing Stability recently announced the community organizations that will be recipients of grants to support additional outreach and application assistance for Boston’s Rental Relief Fund through events, technology support, and coordination between tenants and landlords. The City will provide more than $230,000 in funding to help these local organizations connect Boston residents in need with the Rental Relief Fund Program.
This summer, the Office of Housing Stability and the Mayor’s Housing Innovation Lab (iLab) created the community grant program for nonprofit organizations to support additional outreach and application assistance for Boston’s Rental Relief Fund. The goal of the program is to partner with community groups and non-profit organizations who are able to offer access to technology, address questions about rental and utility assistance programs, and support tenants and landlords in compiling completed application packets to ensure that access to emergency rental assistance is possible even under challenging circumstances.
The organizations receiving the grants are: Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), All In Energy Inc & Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, Cape Verdean Community Unido DBA Cape Verdean Association of Boston, Chinese Progressive Association, JAHAN Women and Youth Intercultural, INC., Massachusetts Sudanese Community Association, Neighborhood of Affordable Housing Inc. (NOAH), New England United 4 Justice, Somali Development Center (SDC) Boston, Vietnamese American Initiative for Development, Inc., ZUMIX, Inc., Union of Minority Neighborhoods, Mothers for Justice and Equality, Inc., and Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation (ABCDC).
EVICTION PREVENTION RESOURCES
The Boston Public Health Commission issued a public health order on August 31, 2021 establishing a moratorium on evictions in the city of Boston. If the Housing Court has ordered you to leave, you may not have to.
If you’re able to, you should pay your rent. If you need help paying your past and future rent, apply for rental assistance today. Applying for rental assistance may “stop the clock” on the eviction process if you currently have a case in Housing Court.
For more information, call 617.635.4200, email OHSintake@boston.gov, or use this form to request legal assistance. Tenants are also welcome to visit OHS in person at 43 Hawkins Street from 9am to 5pm on Mondays through Fridays.
- There are millions of dollars available to tenants through the City’s Rental Relief Fund and the State’s RAFT program. Landlords can also access funds to help pay mortgages through the State’s ERMA program. To date, the City has distributed more than $20.3 million to more than 3,900 families.
- The City's Rental Relief Fund can also pay up to three months of expected utility and home energy expenses (up to $2,000).
- OHS runs weekly virtual legal clinics and office hours for tenants needing assistance. Through the clinics and office hours, OHS can connect tenants with a landlord mediator. Tenants can find information on the steps to take if they are facing eviction on the OHS website.
- The Office of Housing Stability is currently hosting office hours at Boston Public Library branches. If you need help completing a Rental Relief Fund application, please visit them at the Mattapan Library, Tuesdays from 3 - 5 p.m., or the Grove Hall Library, Thursdays from 4 - 6 p.m.
BOSTON JOINS PRESIDENT BIDEN'S HOUSE AMERICA PROGRAM
House America is the federal government’s direct response to the crisis of housing insecurity. House America calls on state, tribal, and local leaders to partner with HUD to use American Rescue Plan funding, as well as other resources, to re-house individuals experiencing homelessness. The City of Boston is committing to rehouse 1,100 households that have experienced or will experience homelessness between now and December 31, 2022. During this same period, Boston has committed to fund the creation of 650 units of housing for people facing housing insecurity. The majority of this housing will be paired with supportive services to allow individuals to remain stably housed.
CONTINUUM OF CARE (COC) COMPETITION AND REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
On August 18, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published the 2021 Continuum of Care Notice Of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), announcing the opening of the 2021 Continuum of Care Competition. The City's Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) serves as the Collaborative Applicant for the Boston CoC and is the responsible entity for ensuring all parts of the CoC application are submitted. DND hosted a meeting of its Competition Oversight Committee on July 1 to preview the competition. A subsequent meeting was hosted on September 9 with the CoC General Membership to summarize the CoC NOFO and to provide a timeline for competition-related activities.
The CoC Application and individual project applications are due to HUD no later than Tuesday, November 16 at 8pm.
FORECLOSURE PREVENTION FUND ESTABLISHED
The City of Boston has developed an Emergency Foreclosure Prevention Fund to help Boston homeowners most at risk of losing their home to foreclosure. Federal ARPA and CARES Act monies will be used for the fund. To be eligible for the fund, a homeowner must:
- be income eligible,
- have experienced financial hardship because of the pandemic,
- live in the home they own, and
- be at least 90 days delinquent on one or more homeownership related payments, such as a mortgage payment, real estate taxes, or a condominium association fee.
Homeowners can access the fund through any of DND's three partner agencies who currently offer foreclosure prevention counseling:
- Urban Edge
- ABCD Mattapan Family Service Center
FORECLOSURE PROTECTIONS AND RESOURCES
DND estimates that over 4,200 Boston households (six percent of all homeowners) are not caught up on mortgage payments. While the federal moratorium on foreclosures expired on July 31, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued a new rule, which took effect August 31. This rule prohibits mortgage servicers from foreclosing on most borrowers unless the home is abandoned, the borrower has not responded to requests for 90 days, or is not a candidate for a loan modification.
DND will be asking participating lenders and their servicers to take a “pledge” to:
- Provide information to homeowners on Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) resources that may be available
- Comply with the CFPB rule not to foreclose unless absolutely necessary
Currently, low-income homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure can access the state’s ERMA and RAFT program or the City's foreclosure prevention fund for unpaid mortgage payments, insurance, condo association fees and taxes.
If you or someone you know are at risk of foreclosure please visit our foreclosure assistance webpage or call 617-635-4663.
NEW HIRES AT DND
Clare Lang has been hired as a Development Officer for the Emergency Solutions Grant CARES grant (aka ESG-CV) with the Supportive Housing Division.
Originally from the North Shore, Clare is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, where she studied history and public policy. She previously interned at the Washington, D.C. Department of Health in their Office of Government Relations and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston, where she mainly worked on cases of housing discrimination. She is an avid reader of mysteries and nonfiction in her spare time.
Nathan Satish has been hired as a Development Officer for the Emergency Solutions Grant CARES grant (aka ESG-CV) with the Supportive Housing Division.
Nathan previously helped with various federal disaster assistance programs by conducting intake interviews with FEMA and document management within the 9/11 Victims' Compensation Fund. Nathan recently graduated with a Master's in City Planning from Rutgers University. He is new to Boston and is quickly exploring the local food and comedy scene, as well as many of the city's parks.
Grace Mitchell has been hired as Rental Relief Fund IT Project Manager and will be working with OHS to build and enhance our suite of technology solutions that help provide rental relief to thousands of City residents.
Grace is a proud Oregon native who attended Reed College (BA) and UT Austin (MPA). She lived and worked in TX and VA before landing in the Boston area in 2016. Grace has nearly 20 years' experience in technical writing and project management, mostly in software. She's an avid hockey fan and while she likes the Bruins just fine, it's the Penguins that have her heart. Grace's non-hockey interests include Americana music, live theater, and keeping in touch with a far-flung network of friends and family. Grace lives with her partner, 9 year-old son, and two cats.
Justin Peczkowski (the "c" is silent) has been hired as the Homelessness Data Systems Product Manager and will be working with SHD to help enhance our custom software that aggregates, reports, and matches HMIS data to available resources.
Justin comes to the City of Boston after 5 years as a product manager with ENGIE Impact, a provider of software and services to help corporations meet their sustainability and energy management needs. Originally from Buffalo, NY JP has lived in the greater Boston area for the last 10 years. Outside of work you can find him out on a bike ride of some sort, passionately cheering for the Boston Celtics and Buffalo Bills or pretending he actually knows something about wine or cocktail-making. He lives with his girlfriend Jamie and their cat Myshka.
director of operations
Under the direction of the Director for the Department of Neighborhood Development and Cabinet Chief for Housing, the Director of Operations is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day management and operations of DND. View the full job description and apply.
Under the supervision of the Assistant Director for Loan Management, the Asset Manager performs various functions related to the maintenance of the department’s loan portfolio and performs special projects as directed. The Asset Manager is a key member of DND’s Finance Division, ensuring that existing loans are in good standing and that new loans are set up in accordance with departmental policies and procedures. View the full job description and apply.
We’re currently hiring for a Product Owner to help DND accelerate the pace of innovation within our technology systems and our department more broadly. This position will be responsible for the maintenance, development, and enhancement of the core, cloud-based technology solutions used by DND to serve our front-line staff, or partners, and our constituents. View the full job description and apply.
construction specialist ii
Under the direct supervision of the Construction and Design Services Manager, the Construction Specialist II is responsible for all construction management and oversight activities and assistance for development projects and programs, including but not limited to 1-3 family rehabs, adaptive re-use developments, renovations of existing rental developments and new construction, wood frame, masonry and steel mid-rise and high rise construction. View the full job description and apply.
office of housing stability intern
Interns with OHS will have the opportunity to learn from staff who are knowledgeable about housing resources for tenants and landlords. They'll work with Boston residents who are at risk of housing instability. Interns may also have the opportunity to support research development and the implementation of new programs and policies that the office is exploring. Fill out our expression of interest form to apply for an internship.
Find affordable rental and home ownership opportunities in the Metro-Boston area by using the Metrolist. Use it to determine what kind of home you’re eligible for and search for homes based on your needs. Don’t forget to sign up for the mailing list to be alerted to the latest housing opportunities.
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- Published by: Housing