Over the past decade HomeStart has developed an economically sustainable and scalable program that prevents homelessness. Our goal is to eliminate homelessness due to non-payment eviction for families with subsidies and the working poor in Greater Boston and beyond. Our ultimate goal is to create a model for national replication.
THE SOCIAL CATALYST
The average non-payment arrearage of an evicted household is only $2,000.
Nearly two out of three households evicted for non-payment in Boston are residents of affordable subsidized housing. An eviction often disqualifies a family from obtaining a subsidy again, and when these households are evicted, regulations forbid them from accessing the state-funded family emergency shelter system until after three years. Eviction isn't just a crisis of trauma and upheaval for the displaced family. Eviction is a creator of poverty and an incredible cost-burden for property owners and tax-payer funded social services. These are some of the most vulnerable, at-risk and low-income members of our community and they are ineligible to access our most basic social safety net. For this reason alone, HomeStart believes that it is essential to help these households stay in their homes, out of shelter and off the street.
The Renew Collaborative:
A Radical Solution to Break the Cycle of Homelessness
Everyone deserves a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home. HomeStart’s work is premised on this belief and our mission is to end and prevent homelessness in Greater Boston. At HomeStart, we know that a housing crisis can destabilize every part of a person’s life. Over and over again, research has shown that destabilized housing leads to negative impacts on everything from health and access to medical care to employment and education, child nutrition and sobriety.
The Renew Collaborative is a disruptive social innovation premised on a simple and compelling fact – the cost to a property owner to execute a non-payment eviction in Massachusetts is three to five times more than the expense of stopping the eviction and preserving the tenancy.
Therefore, the cost-benefit of eviction prevention is so compelling that property owners can actually save money by financially supporting eviction prevention programs like HomeStart's Renew Collaborative.
“Every year in this country,
people are evicted from
their homes not by the tens of thousands or even the hundreds of thousands but by the millions.”
(Matthew Desmond, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City – 2016)
Our vision is that all of our country’s working poor or families with subsidies would be protected from eviction and homelessness when unexpected life circumstances threaten their housing stability.
HomeStart continues to scale and expand its eviction prevention services through partnerships with property owners for per-intervention cost-reimbursement. This innovative method of program expansion is a socially disruptive, economically sustainable and scalable model that has the potential to eliminate homelessness in Massachusetts for low-income at-risk families who are residing in affordable subsidized housing.
“This program could effectively eliminate family homelessness by eviction for both
the country’s working poor and families
It is novel, efficient, and most of all,
(Matthew Desmond, Author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City – 2016)
HomeStart has established a proof of concept and demonstrated impact within Massachusetts. Our current objective is to satiate the need for eviction prevention services in Boston and to continue expanding these services across each region of Massachusetts, while creating a model for national replication.
In parallel, HomeStart is piloting geographically dispersed partnerships with other social service organizations to create a model for distributing resources, providing technical assistance, and collecting data.
Most importantly, the program works.
Our short-term intensive intervention model provides case management, access to one-time rental assistance and 12 months of post-crisis stabilization services. The HomeStart intervention makes a long-term impact on an at-risk household's housing stability, and 48 months after the intervention 87% of the program participants have maintained housing stability within their BHA unit and 95% have avoided eviction due to non-payment.
Thank You to our Renew Collaborative Supporters: