HUD and Justice Department award $100,000 to help youth in Boston find jobs and housing

HUD and Justice Department award $100,000 to help youth in Boston find jobs and housing

Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program will reduce barriers to housing, jobs and education

BOSTON – (RealEstateRama) — In an effort to help young people in Boston involved in the justice system find jobs and housing, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) joined City of Boston Mayor Martin Walsh to announce $100,000 for the Boston Housing Authority and the Greater Boston Legal Services Inc.  to address the challenges justice-involved individuals face when trying to find work and a place to call home.

“This funding will help break down barriers that prevent young people from finding work, getting into school or finding an affordable place to live,” said Kristine Foye, Regional Administrator, HUD New England Region.  “We look forward to working with our partners in Boston to open these doors to opportunity.”

Under the Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program (JRAP), funded through DOJ’s Second Chance Act funds, HUD and DOJ are teaming up to help young Americans who’ve paid their debt to society rehabilitate and reintegrate back into their communities.  JRAP funding was awarded to Public Housing Agencies who have a partnership with a nonprofit legal service organization with experience providing legal services to juveniles.

“Providing a vehicle for a second chance for our young people is very important to me as the Mayor of Boston. This grant is another example of our commitment to provide opportunity and access to all in our city,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

The Boston Housing Authority will use the JRAP funding to help transition-aged youth ages 16-24 who live in BHA housing or who would be eligible to live in BHA housing but for their CORI, to seal their records so that they can be reunited with their families in public housing. The project will also connect these young people with the BHA’s Jobs Plus program in Charlestown, other job training programs, and social service organizations. These connections will ensure that the youth receive social support from other young people in the same circumstances, and access self-sufficiency and financial literacy programs that help them build skills for the future.

“Our residents, like many of us, have experienced setbacks and have made mistakes; especially when we were young. This grant will help us help our young people with job opportunities and housing. Youthful mistakes should not be a barrier for a lifetime,” said Bill McGonagle, BHA Administrator.

Having a juvenile or a criminal record can severely limit a person’s ability to seek higher education, find good employment or secure affordable housing.  Today, there are nearly 55,000 individuals under age 21 in juvenile justice facilities, and approximately 185,000 young adults aged 18 to 24 in state and federal prisons.  These collateral consequences create unnecessary barriers to economic opportunity and productivity.  President Obama and members of his Cabinet, via the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, continue to take impactful steps to ensure those exiting the justice system become productive, law-abiding citizens.  Today’s announcement is consistent with HUD’s recently released guidance on the application ofFair Housing Act standards to the use of criminal records by providers of housing and real estate-related transactions, and the recent guidance for public housing authorities and owners of federally assisted housing on excluding the use of arrest records in housing decisions.

To  help alleviate collateral consequences associated with a juvenile or criminal record, JRAP assists young people up to age 24 residing in public housing, or who would be residing in public housing but for their record, by:

  • Expunging, sealing, and/or correcting juvenile or adult records; as permitted by state law;
  • Assisting targeted youth in mitigating/preventing collateral consequences such as reinstating revoked or suspended drivers’ licenses;
  • Counseling regarding legal rights and obligations in searching for employment;
  • Providing guidance for readmission to school; and
  • Creating or modifying child support orders and other family law services, and more.

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HUD NEWS
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Kristine Foye, Regional Administrator
HUD New England Region, Boston, MA  02222
HUD Number 16-26
Rhonda Siciliano
(617) 994-8355
www.hud.gov/massachusetts

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet
at 
www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.

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