“Families close to the edge have not been able to pull back from the edge in this recovery,” Albelda [Economics Professor at UMass/Boston] said. “That’s in part because the recovery has not affected the bottom 30 to 40 percent of people.”
MASS. SCRAMBLING TO FIND HOUSING FOR ITS HOMELESS
As numbers hit a record high, state fills shelters, far-off motel rooms
By Megan Woolhouse and David Abel, Boston Globe, December 2, 2013
GREENFIELD — Record numbers of homeless families are overwhelming the state’s emergency shelter system, filling motel rooms at the cost to taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars a year.
An average of nearly 2,100 families a night — an all-time high — were temporarily housed in motel rooms in October, just about equaling the number of families in emergency shelters across the state, according to be the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
The demand for shelter is so great that the state has been temporarily sending homeless families from Boston to motels in Western Massachusetts, although state officials said many have been relocated back again, closer to home.
Aaron Gornstein, the undersecretary for housing, said the surge has followed cuts in state and federal housing subsidies, soaring rents in Greater Boston, and still-high rates of unemployment and underemployment, particularly among lower-income workers.
“The state as a whole has recovered from the Great Recession faster than most other states, but in many ways we’re still struggling,” Gornstein said. “Federal budget cuts have made the situation worse.”
Read the rest of the article at: Boston.com
Globe Photo Caption: UMass student Felicita Diaz moved to Northborough when a subsidy ended. Her family has since relocated to Chelsea.