Housing Stabilization Program 2013-2015
Location: 115 Scranton Avenue, Falmouth
Applicant: Falmouth Housing Authority
Grants: $40,000, $45,000, $40,000
Years/Articles: November 2013, A27; November 2014, A29; November 2015, A32
In 2013, 2014, and 2015 the Falmouth Housing Authority (FHA) requested and received CP funds ($40,000, $45,000, and $40,000 respectively) for its Housing Stabilization Program. This program, with support from other organizations and the Town, addresses the ongoing need for supportive case management for hard-to-house local residents, both individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. In place since April 2013, the program has proven to be a vital and effective resource for the Falmouth Community.
The majority of those assisted through this program are considered to be earning very low income, 30 percent of area median income (AMI) or less. They are all Falmouth residents earning no more than 100 percent of AMI. The FHA determines income qualifications for those receiving assistance, well over 1,000 people annually who qualify to receive services the Housing Stabilization Program offers.
The Falmouth Housing Production Plan (2009) identifies Falmouth’s overarching goal for affordable housing as that of “fostering a diverse town where people of all incomes are able to find safe and decent homes that meet their needs and the needs of the larger community.” FHA understands that the creation of additional affordable housing in Falmouth is essential, but also essential is a support system to help tenants establish and maintain successful tenancies. This is important to tenants, landlords and the community as a whole - the general public also benefits from stable housing and successful tenancies.
The program provides housing case management and one-time limited financial assistance as needed for hard-to-house residents. They include individuals and families in unstable housing situations (staying on the sofa or floor of friends or in motels), those chronically homeless (living in the woods, on the street, in cars), and those in other challenging circumstances.
During the first 24 months of the program, staff had over 900 unduplicated encounters with residents at some level of need. They were able successfully to establish stable housing for over 130 households (individuals and families), of which all but one retained their housing, with a success rate of 99.2 percent.
Over its three years of operation, the program has received additional support from the Falmouth Service Center, the Falmouth Housing Corporation, the Falmouth Human Services Department, the Duffy Health Center, and the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church Behrens Fund. Including the in-kind contribution of approximately $7,000 from FHA staff, the average annual cost of the program has been $96,000.
The FHA was founded in 1948. It has a staff of 19 and over 900 units among its properties, vouchers, and managed units. Staff provide necessary supervision and client support for its programs.