Over the last several weeks, the Network’s EA Reform Sub-Committee has been hard at work devising a local response system to families who are denied Emergency Assistance under the new regulations but have no place to go. As captured in our Network statement on EA reform, our goal is twofold: (1) to ensure no family is unsafe and (2) to track consequences of EA reform to inform and substantiate our advocacy regarding any necessary policy changes.
To find the emergency protocol, click here; to obtain and complete a family’s Emergency Information Form, click here; the DHCD authorization release form is here. Minutes from the last family services meeting on October 9 are here.
Special thanks to HAPHousing and Valley Opportunity Council for stepping forward and offering the resources necessary to provide emergency housing for families denied EA and at risk of living in unsafe circumstances. Also thanks to members of the EA Reform Committee: Alvina Brevard, DHCD, Charity Day, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Oonagh Doherty, Mass. Justice Project, Steve Huntley, Valley Opportunity Council, Wendy Kane, Western Mass. Legal Services, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, and Jim Reis, HAPHousing. This effort alone demonstrates the commitment to work together at every level – state and local government, advocates, housing providers – and the Network is proud to offer this vehicle for collaboration to reach our shared goal of keeping families housed.
Finally, a reminder that the Western Mass. public hearing on the EA regulations is taking place on:
Monday, October 22, 2012
10 am – 1 pm
Springfield State Building
436 Dwight Street, Room 305, Springfield