Mayor Wu announces applications for Rapid Rehousing Grant to support Boston's returning citizens

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~ Mayor Michelle Wu and the Mayor's Office of Returning Citizens (ORC) have announced the opening of applications for the Rapid Rehousing (RRH) program. This grant is designed to meet the housing needs of Boston's returning citizens, those who are returning to Boston after being released from county, state, or federal correctional facilities. The total allocation of $1,100,000 for Fiscal Years 2024-26 will provide rental assistance, intensive case management, housing locator/search services, and other housing related services.

"Every Bostonian deserves affordable, accessible housing. The Rapid Rehousing program will empower our returning citizens to not just reintegrate but also thrive in their communities," said Mayor Wu. "I'm excited to see how these grants will support the City's mission to build trust and rapport with constituents in our efforts to combat recidivism."

The ORC is encouraging applicant organizations to build comprehensive support systems that will help returning citizens stay stably housed. These programs should be designed to accommodate various needs such as financial literacy, job training, health care access, legal advocacy, family reunification and educational services. David Mayo, Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Returning Citizens said "We are excited to be able to work with our non-profit partners to provide housing support to returning citizens. Stable housing is key to preventing recidivism and this boost of support will help many get back on their feet."

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According to the Boston Reentry Study completed by the Harvard Kennedy School's Rappaport Institute more than one in three of all returning citizens are either unhoused or living in unstable housing six months after release from prison; after one year nearly half are unhoused or living in unstable housing. The RRH grant provides critical support as rents continue to rise in the City of Boston. It will provide a step-down approach initially covering up 100 percent of rent gradually reducing depending on ability to pay.

José F Massó Chief of Human Services said "This grant opportunity is another example of Boston seeing a need and meeting it through an innovative partnership strategy." Applications for the Rapid Rehousing Grant are now open with proposals due by October 25 2023 and a virtual information session on September 6 2023 from 9-11am where interested applicants can register here. Awards likely ranging from $550 000 - $1 100 000 depending on application and capacity of organization with announcement later this fall.

The ORC understands importance addressing barriers advocacy and fostering strong partnerships creating positive social impact and collaborative initiatives envisioning a Boston where returning citizens can return families flourish communities regain sense dignity more information about ORC resources visit here.

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