EA Reform Sub-Committee Committee
November 20, 2012
In attendance: Bonnie Caldwell, HAP, Steve Huntley, Valley Opportunity Council, Oonagh Doherty, Mass. Justice Project, Wendy Kane, Community Legal Aid, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Jim Reis, HAP, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Robin Sherman, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority
Reviewed EA Emergency Report (thanks to Jim Reis and Alvina Brevard for collating results):
Length of stay at emergency hotel (of HAP or VOC) extends to 16 or 19 days when transitioning a tenant into permanent housing (using RAFT). Need to shorten in order to preserve funds – facilitate either doubling up temporarily. This transitional period is indicative of a systemic need for emergency shelter until housing is secured.
1/3 of families denied became EA eligible (5 out of 15).
½ (7 out of 15) are placed in housing through RAFT.
Sustainability is a question for many. Families must maximize benefits and/or find employment to sustain apartments past RAFT dollars.
Couch surfing needs greater definition. The criteria for qualifying under that condition is unclear.
Issue of delays in appeals (in several cases, now past 45 day period allowed for decision). Wendy and Oonagh will check with other EA providers across the state to assess whether this is a statewide issue.
HAP: Will extend emergency motel assistance through December. Will discuss with VOC.
Steve (VOC) and Jim (HAP) will discuss and will send out any revisions to protocol.
Next meeting: Tuesday, 12/18, 8:45 am.