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As Massachusetts announces new funding for affordable housing, advocate says immediate challenges remain

A group of Springfield No One Leaves  members hold signs advocating for better housing options in Massachusetts.
Submitted by Springfield No One Leaves
A group of Springfield No One Leaves members hold signs advocating for better housing options in Massachusetts.

The state of Massachusetts has announced more than $60 million in new funding for affordable housing.

Springfield housing advocate Rose Webster-Smith said the funding will not solve the immediate challenges some people face.

The money will help preserve or create roughly 700 rental units across the state. Two of the projects are in Springfield's Mason Square neighborhood.

Last Friday, the state stopped accepting applications for its emergency rental assistance program, which started during the pandemic and was funded with federal money.

Webster-Smith heads Springfield No One Leaves, a community organization that helps tenants and homeowners facing eviction.

"We have a ton of homeowners post-foreclosure that are being evicted," she said. "We have tenants being displaced."

The Baker Administration says tenants can still apply for assistance under another state program but Webster-Smith said it's more restrictive.

The state provides financial help to homeowners through a separate program, but Webster-Smith said it's also overly restrictive and underutilized.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education, and politics. Working with correspondent Morley Safer, he reported from locations across the United States as well as from India, Costa Rica, Italy, and Iraq.
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