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Worcester Housing Scores $240,000 in Federal Funds

Monday, August 20, 2012


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded nearly $1.7 million public housing authorities in Massachusetts, including $240,000 to the Worcester Housing Authority.

The funds represent the state's share of the roughly $35 million HUD distributed across the country for its Residential Opportunities and Self Sufficiency - Service Coordinators (ROSS-SC) program.

Through its support of public housing authorities, resident associations and non-profit groups, ROSS-SC aims to help public housing residents find jobs and achieve economic and housing independence through the creation of innovative local strategies. The program also hopes to reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance.

“These service coordinators will help thousands of public housing residents connect to jobs and opportunities that lead to self-sufficiency and improved quality of life,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

The WHA's award of $240,000 was the smallest of the grants awarded in Massachusetts. The Boston Housing Authority received $729,000, and the Holyoke, Medford and Taunton Housing Authorities received awards of $243,000 each.

Candidates speak to issue

During a Democratic primary debate last week, several candidates for the state representative seat in Worcester's 15th District addressed the issue of increasing access to affordable housing in the community.

Dianna Biancheria called for more collaboration between city and state agencies, while Frank A. Beshai said a greater focus on applying funds to the right projects in the right places was needed.

Ralph Perez said the majority of residents in Worcester's 15th District are one step away from homelessness due to the weak economy.

"We don't need welfare," he said. "We need jobs."


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