October 8, 2010
Stimulus at Work. . .Again
This week I participated in an event awarding $40 million in stimulus funds for work at the Cathedral Housing and Bromley-Heath developments. Funds will be used to rehabilitate distressed buildings and upgrade the housing units. The improvements will include high efficiency water heating systems, new windows, improved kitchens and baths, enhanced insulation and utility services. The work will create jobs and result in more energy efficient units. Funds will also be used at the Old Colony development and to establish a new Comprehensive Service Center, operated by the Uphams Corner Health Centers Elder Service Plan. It will provide primary and specialty care for the elderly and disabled.
This awarding of stimulus funds is the latest in a number of recent stimulus funding announcements including:
- $12 million for the Whittier Street Community Health Center,
- $11 million for the Mattapan Community Health Center
- $10 million for the Cambridge Housing Authority’s Lincoln Way development.
The funds will put people to work and improve the facilities and are tangible examples of the benefit that this money is having on our communities.
Chelsea Choice Thru Education
On Thursday I spent time at the Chelsea Choice Thru Education Program. Choice has been serving the educational needs of low income Chelsea students since the 1960s. It is one of the oldest US Department of Education Upward Bound programs in existence and has served many generations of Chelsea families. Director Sue Clark has been with the organization for decades. We recently helped Chelsea Choice Thru Education obtain additional federal funding after they lost a large portion of their operating budget during the Bush Administration. I am impressed by the long list of program participants who have gone on to become leaders in Chelsea and the Commonwealth. I enjoyed hearing about the great work the organization is doing, particularly with programming to help students navigate education and career placement opportunities after high school.
Help with Mortgages
On Monday I joined Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and my House colleague Rep. Barney Frank at the Urban Edge Community Development Corp. in Roxbury to announce the upcoming expansion of a program to help jobless homeowners make mortgage payments. $61 million will be available to qualified Massachusetts homeowners. Unemployed homeowners will be able to qualify for up to $50,000 in zero interest loans over two years to help them stay current on their mortgage payments while they are searching for a job. Our economy is slowly improving but so many people are still struggling to find work. It is not easy to maintain mortgage payments without employment and this program will help people who are on the verge of foreclosure through no fault of their own. I am very pleased that the program is being expanded and that qualified Massachusetts homeowners will have the opportunity to benefit from it. As more details become available about this program, including information about how to apply, I will let you know. HUD expects to begin taking applications by the end of the year.