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Action Alert: Increase Funding for State Public Housing

Action Alert! The Massachusetts legislature is currently working on its FY25 budget, which will provide funds for state public housing and other important programs.

The budget includes $112 million for the public housing operating subsidy, which is $5 million more than last year but not enough to cover the need. Luckily, we have a chance to increase this amount through an amendment if we call or email our State Representatives!

Click here to find your state Representative’s name and contact information. You do not need to contact your state Senator, only your Rep. Call or email them before Wednesday April 24 with the message below. Don’t worry about being technical. And don’t be scared – you will speak to an aide, not the representative him or herself. Tell the person that you live in public housing and list the three amendment numbers below.

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MESSAGE TO YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE

My name is ___ and I am a resident of public housing in ___. There are three important amendments to the budget that would improve quality of life in my community. Please co-sponsor these three amendments:

      1. Amendment 563 – Increases the public housing operating subsidy from $112 million to $117 million.
      2. Amendment 1479 – Makes improvements to provide tenants with Access to Counsel when facing evictions.
      3. Amendment 562 – Increases funding for Resident Service Coordinators from $6.5 million to $8 million.

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Let us know if you need help, and how your call goes! Email Ben Echevarria with questions or updates at ben@massunion.org. Thank you for doing your part to improve quality of life in public housing. Your voice is crucial and every call matters!

Solicite una beca de convención

Click here for the English version

Las becas cubrirán el costo total de la Convención, el Día del Lobby y una habitación de hotel COMPARTIDA el domingo por la noche. Para solicitar una beca, complete el formulario a continuación antes del 17 de abril a las 5 p. m.

Proceso de Becas

    1. ¡APLICAR! Envíanos la información antes del 17 de abril a las 5pm.
    2. ¡RIFA! Sortearemos nombres en una reunión de Zoom en vivo el 18 de abril al mediodía. ¡Únete a nosotros entonces para divertirte! No es necesario estar presente en la rifa Zoom para ganar una beca. Te avisaremos ese día.
    3. Si se postulan más de dos personas de un pueblo/ciudad, otorgaremos becas para los dos primeros nombres sorteados. Si quedan fondos adicionales, abriremos becas para personas adicionales.

Elegibilidad para becas

    1. Debe ser afiliado o haber solicitado afiliación antes del 17 de abril. Contáctenos para convertirse en afiliado.
    2. Si ha pagado para asistir a la Convención en el pasado, le instamos a que utilice los mismos fondos nuevamente. Explore también las dos nuevas opciones anteriores. Si puede acceder a fondos de su LTO, RAB o Autoridad de Vivienda, hágalo. Hay muchas personas que no pueden acceder a este tipo de fondos y esperamos ofrecerles becas. Esto permitirá que asistan tantos inquilinos como sea posible. Especialmente queremos dar la bienvenida a nuevos miembros y a personas de pequeñas autoridades de vivienda que normalmente no pueden permitirse el lujo de venir. ¡Gracias por su comprensión!
    3. ¡Si ganas una beca, debes participar en la Convención! Únase a talleres, debates y saque lo mejor de sí mismo. ☺ ¡Gracias!

** SOLICITUD DE BECAS YA ESTÁ CERRADA **

Si tiene problemas con el formulario, envíenos un correo electrónico con la siguiente información antes de las 5 p.m. del 17 de abril.

    1. El nombre de su grupo de inquilinos y su Autoridad de Vivienda.
    2. Su nombre, número de teléfono, correo electrónico y dirección postal.
    3. Escriba una oración sobre por qué desea asistir y por qué necesita fondos. ¡Todas las respuestas son aceptables! Apreciamos su honestidad.

Apply for a Convention Scholarship

En español

Scholarships will cover the full cost of the Convention, Lobby Day, and a SHARED hotel room on Sunday night. To request a scholarship, fill out the form below by April 17 at 5pm.

Scholarship Process

    1. APPLY! See form below.
    2. RAFFLE! We will draw names on a live Zoom meeting on April 18 at noon. Join us then for the fun! You do not need to be present on the Zoom Raffle to win a scholarship. We will notify you that day.
    3. If more than two people from one town/city apply, we will provide scholarships for the first two names drawn. If additional funds remain, we will open scholarships up to additional people.

Scholarship Eligibility

    1. You must be an affiliate or have applied for affiliation by April 17. Contact us to become an affiliate.
    2. If you have paid to attend the Convention in the past, we urge you to please use the same funding again! Please also explore the two new options above. If you can access funds from your LTO, RAB or Housing Authority, please do. There are many people who cannot access these types of funds and we hope to offer scholarships to them. This will allow as many tenants as possible to attend. We especially want to welcome new members and people from small Housing Authorities who usually cannot afford to come. Thank you for your understanding!
    3. If you win a scholarship, you must participate in the Convention! Join workshops, discussions, and bring your best self. ☺ Thank you!

** SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION IS NOW CLOSED **

If you are having trouble with the form, please just email us the following information by 5pm on April 17.

    1. The name of your tenant group and your Housing Authority.
    2. Your name, phone number, email and mailing address.
    3. Please write one sentence about why you want to attend and why you need funds. All answers are acceptable! We appreciate your honesty.

Mass Union is Hiring! Tenant Organizer Contract Role

Incorporated in 1971, the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants is the oldest statewide public housing tenants’ organization in the nation. We are a non-profit run by tenants for tenants and our mission is to preserve and improve public housing across the state. We believe that those most impacted by a problem should play a leading role in solving it. We are a union of Local tenant Organizations and we are growing fast! We have a newly created part-time contract position available for a Tenant Organizer who will work closely with the Director of Organizing to build power for public housing tenants in our growing network by:

    • Supervising a small cohort of public housing resident leaders who provide peer-to-peer support for other residents.
    • Supporting tenant leadership development.
    • Developing a system for network check-ins to help inform policy.
    • Learning and understanding BHA policies for elections and grievance filing.
    • Tracking resident and Local Tenant Organizations’ engagements in Salesforce.
    • Speaking at tenant meetings and other venues as needed.
    • Performing administrative functions to ensure contract and grant compliance.
    • Mobilizing tenants to take active roles in the local, citywide, and state-wide campaigns and attending relevant campaign events such as press conferences, trainings, meetings, hearings, and demonstrations.
    • Developing and assisting in outreach which can include going door to door, mass mailing, or specific area postings.

The initial contract will focus predominantly on organizing in Boston and last through October 2024. Pending funding, the role and geographic focus will be extended. The role is hybrid.

How To Apply

Send a thoughtful cover letter and resume to HR-MassUnion@insourceservices.com.

Questions? Call 617.825.9750.

Mass Union is Hiring! Open “Operations Manager” Position

Incorporated in 1971, the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants is the oldest statewide public housing tenants’ organization in the nation. We are a non-profit run by tenants for tenants and our mission is to preserve and improve public housing across the state. We believe that those most impacted by a problem should play a leading role in solving it. We are a union of Local tenant Organizations and we are growing fast! We have a newly created role for a full-time Operations Manager who will help us to drive the organization forward by:

Overseeing and coordinating all general office operating activities including event planning, organizing, tracking, and utilizing technology to track all program/event details.

Serving as primary event manager for all conferences, trainings, and other events both in person and online.

Managing all affiliate records through Salesforce including dues payments, and enhancing and expanding use of Salesforce capabilities.

Providing direct support for residents and affiliates as directed, including RE grievances, technical assistance, and LTO support.

Functioning as the primary driver and manager of Mass Union’s social media presence. Developing and recommending social media presentations and vehicles used.

Performing and overseeing the expansion and enhancement of the organization’s website.

Our successful candidate has some college level experience and a minimum of five plus years of related experience with a focus on Microsoft, Salesforce and graphic arts applications, events planning, communications, website development and/or office management experience. Excellent written/verbal and detail orientation skills and prior experience in the non-profit world are preferred. Willingness to work full time in the office is required.

How to Apply

Send a thoughtful cover letter and resume to HR-MassUnion@insourceservices.com.

Webinar: What the Heck is HOTMA?

HOTMA, a federal housing program, stands for the Housing Opportunities & Modernization Act. In 2024, the program underwent significant changes that may affect how federal tenants’ rent and income are calculated.

Join Mass Union and Mac McCreight from Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) on April 25 to learn more about HOTMA, including opportunities to influence how your housing agency responds. Webinar details are as follows:

Date: Thursday, April 25
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Via Zoom – Link provided after you register below

Please let us know if you have any questions. Looking forward to seeing you online!

This webinar will be co-led by Maria Fernandes-Dominique of Culture Builders Cooperative LLC and Mac McCreight of Greater Boston Legal Services. It is part of our partnership with the Mel King Institute.

Coming in April: Online Resident Leader Training Series

Tuesday mornings: April 2, 9, 23, 30 and May 7
10am – 11:30am
Via Zoom (link provided after you register)
Download and Share the Flyer (PDF)

This five-part training series will help you build confidence and skills to manage a successful Local Tenant Organization (LTO). Starting and sustaining an LTO is a lot of work, but Mass Union, MKI and our network of fellow tenants are here to help! Whether you are a seasoned leader or just getting started, join us to share tips, tricks and encouragement. We’ll talk about:

      • Why to form a Local Tenant Organizations – and why not to!
      • Leadership do’s and don’ts
      • The rights and responsibilities of Local Tenant Organizations
      • How to reach and engage other tenants by overcoming fear
      • How to build power and voice to win changes at your Local Housing Authority

The official registration date has passed, but email info@massunion.com to request to register late. 

This series will be co-led by Maria Fernandes-Dominique of Culture Builders Cooperative LLC and is part of our partnership with the Mel King Institute.

March 28: North Shore Resident Leader Training Session

Mass Union is very excited to head up to Salem on March 28, 2024, for an in-person training session! All public housing residents are welcome. We will focus on the following:

    • Building power through strength in numbers (Spaghetti Power!)
    • Prioritizing issues
    • Listening skills

Whether you are trying to start an LTO or simply looking to refresh your knowledge, please join us. Here are the details:

Northshore Resident Leader Training Session
Thursday, March 28, 10am-3pm
Charter Street Development
Salem Housing Authority
27 Charter Street, Salem, 01970
Register below by March 25, 2024

    • Breakfast and lunch will be provided – please plan to arrive by 9:30
    • Stay tuned for information about parking
    • Spanish-English interpretation will be provided and Spanish speakers are enthusiastically encouraged to attend!

This training will be co-led by Maria Fernandes-Dominique of Culture Builders Cooperative LLC and is part of our partnership with the Mel King Institute.