More than $125K for programs serving more than 445 Somerville households

SOMERVILLE – The Somerville Affordable Housing Trust Fund announced this week it is awarding $125,800 in fiscal 2015 to housing and
homeless service providers that, combined, serve more than 445 Somerville households.

Grantees include:
· Greater Boston Legal Services for Somerville Tenancy Stabilization Program, with an AmeriCorp Paralegal representing low income tenants facing eviction in Somerville District Court; and a goal to maximize government benefits.
· Cambridge Neighborhood Apartment Housing Services for the Somerville Foreclosure Prevention Program, providing counseling and retention efforts for Somerville residents, including in-depth credit counseling, review of housing options, assistance in applying for loan modifications, reviewing household budgets and comprehensive referrals.
· Somerville Community Corporation for the Somerville Mediation Program, the only approved mediation program for Somerville District Court, which provides mediation to low and moderate income households and program outreach to agencies providing housing services.
· Heading Home for the Better Homes 3 Program, which provides scattered site permanent supportive housing for 13 chronically homeless individuals in Somerville.
· The Somerville Cambridge Elderly Services for the Connect Program, which helps clients who suffer from hoarding/clutter through meeting with the client, discussing risks and making a service plan, with assistance for heavy chore removal.
· Wayside Youth and Family Network for the ShortStop Program, which provides transitional housing (up to 2 years) to 9 homeless young adults (18-22). Fosters life skills, housing readiness and independent living skills. Only youth transitional housing for youth without children in Somerville.
· Respond for the Enhanced Shelter Program which provides a 24 hour hotline and case management geared toward finding safe and stable housing.
Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers, Inc. (MAPS, Inc.) for rental housing counseling and educational services for low-moderate income Portuguese speakers in Somerville.
Just-A-Start Corporation for their Mediation for Results program, providing legal assistance and mediation between landlords and low-moderate income tenants in Somerville.
Somerville Homeless Coalition (SHC) for their Prevention and Stabilization Services program (PASS), providing rental and move-in assistance and case management to homeless or at-risk low-income Somerville residents and for the Tenancy Stabilization Program, which provides a one-time assistance of up to $3,000 for income eligible households for expenses such as rental and utility arrearages, moving expenses, first or last month’s rent, or a security deposit, along with case management.

“The grant awards underscore the Somerville Affordable Housing Trust Fund’s commitment to the important work of our nonprofit partners and fulfill the Trust’s mission to help assist, preserve and support Somerville residents in housing,” said Mary Cassesso, Managing Trustee of the Somerville Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

The Somerville Affordable Housing Trust Fund was created in 1989, by City ordinance, and its first programs began in 1991. Its purpose is to preserve and create affordable rental and homeownership units in Somerville and carry out programs to directly assist homeowners and renters. All of its activities benefit low to moderate-income households (with incomes at or below 110% of area median income).

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