Special Initiatives: Grants and Partnerships

BHA has a long track record of working collaboratively on grants and partnerships. This is a strategy BHA has adopted to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of life of residents, and connect with the broader community. Along the way, BHA has  contributed to increasing the knowledge of the link between health and housing and made an impact on affordable housing policy and management.
Vision: We envision a strong and vibrant city where every resident has the opportunity to thrive.
Mission: We foster sustainable communities by providing quality affordable housing, bringing stability, opportunity, and peace of mind to thousands of low and moderate-income families across Boston, and to the city as a whole.

BHA has partnered with and received grants from public and private organizations at the local, state, and national levels.  The grants and partnerships take many different forms from one-time events to others spanning decades.
This Special Initiatives space will be used to highlight a few past examples of grants and partnerships, some ongoing, and others brand new.

Boston Housing Authority Partnership Request Form

The Boston Housing Authority serves tens of thousands of Greater Boston's most vulnerable families. To better serve our residents and preserve affordable housing for future generations, we work with many partners and organizations on a wide range of issues. While BHA is interested in a variety of types of partnerships, BHA is particularly interested in partnerships that support three focus areas. In your response, please highlight if and how your potential partnership supports these goals:
Increase economic opportunity for our residents, including youth
Promoting sustainability related to both environmental sustainability and public health across the portfolio as well as resident capacity
Placemaking and design at the public housing level
BHA serves a mostly low-income population primarily serving people of color. We are therefore particularly interested in partnering with organizations that are BIPOC-led.  If you or your organization is interested in partnering with us, please fill out our partnership request form.  

Boston Public Housing Corporation, non-profit:

BHA established a 501c3 non-profit in 2001 named, Boston Public Housing Corporation, with a mission to solicit private and public sources and charitable organizations for funds to develop, initiate, and carry out activities which are consistent with community needs and which contribute to the social, economic, and housing needs of low-and-moderate income residents of Boston and are consistent with the mission of the Boston Housing Authority. Visit: https://bhanonprofit.wordpress.com/

One grant/partnership example from the past: Healthy Housing

Green Public Housing Benefits: BRIGHT Study (2011 - 2016)

Boston Residential Investigation on Green and Healthy Transitions (BRIGHT) was a collaborative study in partnership with the Committee for Boston Public Housing and the Harvard School of Public Health. The study sites were Washington Beech, Old Colony and Ruth Barkley – all public housing developments that moved toward green living. Study teams administered a health survey, conducted environmental sampling, and visual inspections. One year later, the study teams returned  to determine if there were  energy savings by going “green” and that resident health, comfort, and satisfaction were improved. Results documented significant reductions in particulate matter in the “green” homes compared to control homes, fewer reports of pests, mold, and inadequate ventilation, as well as significant energy savings.

To read more: Colton MD, Laurent JG, MacNaughton P, Kane J, Bennett-Fripp M, Spengler J, Adamkiewicz G. Health Benefits of Green Public Housing: Associations With Asthma Morbidity and Building-Related Symptoms. Am J Public Health. 2015 Dec;105(12):2482-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302793. Epub 2015 Oct 15. PMID: 26469661; PMCID: PMC4638234.

Colton MD, MacNaughton P, Vallarino J, Kane J, Bennett-Fripp M, Spengler JD, Adamkiewicz G. Indoor air quality in green vs conventional multifamily low-income housing. Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Jul 15;48(14):7833-41. doi: 10.1021/es501489u. Epub 2014 Jul 1. PMID: 24941256.

Another part of the grant worked with Massachusetts College of Art and Design to come up with a healthy housing booklet in English and Spanish: Welcome Home: Keeping Your New Home Green and Healthy: https://www.bostonhousing.org/en/Public-Housing/Your-Healthy-Home.aspx

To share the story of green and healthy public housing with a broader audience, the BHA applied for the HUD Secretary’s Award for Healthy Homes and won the award in 2016. “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Healthy Homes recognizes agencies, organizations, and Tribes that advance healthy homes while advancing affordable housing, strengthening environmental justice, and addressing climate resilience. Through HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH), the HUD Secretary's Award for Excellence in Healthy Homes acknowledges innovative approaches, best practices, policies, research, and community engagement that make significant contributions to reduce exposure to health risks, environmental hazards, and substandard housing, especially for underserved communities.” To read more: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/about/healthyhomesaward-2016-1.html#winner2

One grant/partnership example that is on-going: Economic Mobility

Compass Working Capital with support from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation:

Compass Working Capital with JPMorgan Chase Foundation support represents one of the Boston Housing Authority’s most transformative and rewarding cross-sector partnerships.  

The strong collaboration among Compass Working Capital, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and Boston Housing Authority (BHA) has dramatically scaled up the Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program, allowing low-income families in federally subsidized housing to build assets, achieve financial and personal goals, and directly targets the inequities demonstrated by the wealth gap in our country. 

HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program supports families in federally subsidized housing to build savings as a way out of asset poverty and toward financial stability. However, FSS reaches only a fraction of households that stand to benefit from it: just 3% of an estimated 2.2 million eligible households were served by the program last year.
Starting in 2018, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation partnered with the nonprofit Compass Working Capital (“Compass”) to expand access to FSS in Boston by bringing Compass’ proven, high-impact model for FSS to eligible residents of the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) through a new partnership. The partnership has significantly expanded participation in the program: current enrollment is more than five times the number of households enrolled before the partnership began, approximately 1400 at the end of 2022 . This has moved the BHA’s FSS program to be among the ten largest FSS programs in the country, up from 47th. Participating households have also increased their income, improved their credit, and reduced their debt.  Total escrow was over $2.1 million; credit scores had increased on average +52 points wiht an average overall credit score of 636.
BHA has leveraged an annual coordinator grant from HUD to support the program, and the Foundation’s support has helped Compass to attract additional philanthropic support to further expand the program. The partnership has also supported the development and testing of innovative enrollment tools that further expand the scope and impact of FSS in Boston and nationally.

BHA with its partners, Compass Working Capital and JP Morgan Chase Foundation were awarded the 2022  Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships - Housing and Community Development in Action from the Council on Foundations and the US Dept. of HUD:  

One grant/partnership example that is new/recent:

Boston Housing Authority is excited to announce that Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has awarded our organization a three-year grant with a total award of $850,000 as part of its Community-based Health Initiative! BHA will use the funds to enhance the BHA First Home Program to assist BHA residents with technical assistance in the homebuying process as well as with downpayment assistance.  The grant term begins in Jan 2024 and ends Dec 2026.  With this funding, we will be able to impact and uplift even more individuals, ensuring access to vital resources and services. Together, we're making a real difference! 

Special Initiatives:
Partnership Request Form
BHA Non-Profit
Past Grant/Partnership
Ongoing Grant/Partnership
Recent Grant/Partnership 

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