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Boston College School of Social Work
Center for Social Innovation

News

IF Challenge Winners Announced!

If Challenge winners photo

 

Winner #1: Homelessness Prevention Toolkit

Organization: HomeStart

 

HomeStart will expand an existing program run in conjunction with the Boston Housing Authority (BHA). Working with the BHA, HomeStart preserved public housing tenancy for families at a cost of $2,000, versus the $10,000 the BHA spent on evictions. Its Homelessness Prevention Toolkit will create a set of materials and resources that can be used both by HomeStart to replicate the BHA model with large private property developers and smaller property owners that will accelerate the scaling of the intervention, anticipated to protect thousands of families a year from experiencing homelessness.

 

Winner #2: Tech award: Housing Navigator App

Organization: MBHP (Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership)

 

MBHP will create an app to assess families’ eligibility for programs and connect them to affordable housing resources, including available rental subsidies, local and regional contacts, and nonfinancial solutions. MBHP will investigate the viability of incorporating components like mapping searches for child care, financial literacy, and links to substance abuse and medical care.

 

Winner #3: Housing Affordability for All Through a Housing EITC

Organization: Children’s HealthWatch

Children’s HealthWatch will lead a campaign to develop a tailored Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), adjusted for regional cost of housing, to make housing more affordable for all low and lower-middle income families. It will conduct research and then model out how a housing EITC can be implemented in Massachusetts. This type of EITC could make housing more affordable for all Massachusetts low and lower-middle income working families, freeing a significant portion of existing housing support resources to be targeted to families not currently able to work.