BOSTON (WWLP) – There are fewer families living in homeless hotels, but there is still a desperate need for permanent housing. Every state-funded program to keep families off the streets has not been able to keep up with the growing population, leaving the state with few options.
The population of homeless people in need of housing is growing. The state plans to funnel $73 million over five years to create more than 1,000 housing units, but that will take time. Programs aimed to keep homeless families safe in the meantime either ran out of money or have been drastically cut, exposing the need for the state to create a clear-cut, comprehensive plan to house the homeless.
“There’s not doubt housing permanence is the solution and trying to identify the best way to do that. I think personally, we need to roll up our sleeves and look at the need and say how can we work with units that are currently in existence,” said Senator Bruce Tarr, who is a member of the Joint Committee on Housing.
The $73 million to develop more housing is a part of a $1.4 billion plan signed by Governor Patrick that spans 17 cities and towns across Massachusetts, including Holyoke and Springfield.