At a March 7, 2012 City of Boston hearing, Department of Neighborhood Development officials discussed proposed funding cuts to the City’s CDBG and HOME funds. Attendees were then able to testify as to just how dependent some of the most necessary neighborhood services are on these funding sources. Our organization – NOAH - spoke as well. Staffers Linda Miller-Foster, Anthony D’Andrea, Agathe Hubert and Claudia Gongora each spoke of the continuing need for this vital funding, and requested HUD not to cut these funds. It seems clear that the proposed federal budget cuts could negatively impact numerous non-profits in neighborhoods throughout Boston, cutting services to those residents who need it the most, as testified to by numerous non-profits and their clients. Recently Mayor Menino said: “We must state our case loudly – CDBG works. And we simply cannot afford to lose any of this critical funding.”
Everyday, NOAH staffers see first-hand just how successfully CDBG monies are utilized on an ongoing basis. These dollars help our organization alone serve many hundreds of Boston residents in need each year. Through our Senior Homeowner Services line, we assist over 100 senior or disabled low-income residents remain securely in their homes through performing much-needed safety-related repairs. This program also coordinates the HeatWorks and HeatWorks Plus programs; and facilitates applications to the City for more extensive rehab projects. Francesca, a recent NOAH senior client, testified on behalf of the program.
Through our bilingual Rental Housing Counseling & Placement program, each year we counsel over 200 Bostonians in strategies to find affordable rental housing; and directly place between 40-50 families in new apartments. NOAH’s Foreclosure Prevention programming – also bilingual - works annually with 70+ Boston families facing foreclosure. Their situation is typically brought on by a job loss or severe illness, and is most often not due to any fault on their part. Lastly, NOAH holds 11 first-time home-buyer courses each year, alternating between Spanish and English, which educate residents in the most appropriate ways to locate, assess, and purchase their first new homes. Over 200 households attend these CHAPA-certified classes and receive a City of Boston certificate.
NOAH expressed its appreciation to the City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development for its current and past funding to help our non-profit perform these and other important public services for at-risk residents and families; and mentioned that our City-directed CDBG dollars are further leveraged by additional foundation and corporate funds. We asked that the federal government consider increasing, as opposed to decreasing, this important funding source. This sentiment was echoed by many other attending non-profits, who also asked that funds not be cut for any of these much-needed services. For more information, or to make written comments to the Department of Neighborhood Development about its upcoming One-Year Action Plan, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 26 Court Street, 8th FloorBoston, MA 02108.