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Testimony

How We Got Here

“Ultimately, the denial of housing is used to punish and criminalize people of color.  The consequences for those excluded can be devastating! ”

Lisaida

My son was incarcerated this year. He’s my only son. It’s always been him and I, always together. For me, as a mother, this transition of not having him has been heartbreaking.

As a mother I’m broken. I was scared already for his future and I’m even more scared now that I am facing an eviction because the Chealsea Housing Authority wants me to take him off of my lease;  Otherwise, I will lose my housing voucher. I have had a voucher for over 16 years and have been a model tenant; No trouble at all. My son was arrested outside of the home not inside the household. Why are they asking a mother to choose between her son and her home?  It is not fair. 

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Jose 

Stable housing has always been an issue when you are released from prison. Probation and Parole will not let us return to the household we lived in before arrest. Our family has always lived in public or subsidized housing. Now that I am released, I cannot go back home. If I do my loved one's will lose their housing voucher.  This is due to Public Housing Authorities having the discretion to deny anyone they want a reasonable accommodation. Meaning for me to be added to the lease of my loved one. 

They are forcing people to become homeless when they have homes to go to.  That is backwards. Why would the City of Boston or the Stae of MA want more homeless people on the streets?  

To me it is a trap. They know that if people released from prison are forced to be homeless, how do they expect them to survive if they have no job and no roof over their head.  It is like they are telling you to go out there and survive the best way you know how to. 

 

These polices have caused thousands of young black men to go back to prison. It is a revolving door. 

I think it is intentional. The system was made to do exactly what it is doing.  Ensuring black people remain incarcerated

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BARRIERS 

BARRIERS TO SUBSIDIZED HOUSING IN MASSACHUSETTS

  • Eligibility of Justice-Involved Individuals for Section 8 Housing

  • Lack of Prioritization of Justice-Involved Individuals

  • Termination of Vouchers for Justice-Involved Families

 
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