The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization is encouraged by a recent allocation of at least $50 million from Boston’s American Recovery Plan Act Funds. The funds will go toward deferred maintenance at the Boston Housing Authority’s (BHA) Mildred C. Hailey Apartments. Both Boston Mayoral Candidates Michelle Wu and Anissa Essaibi George, along with nineteen of the twenty-three candidates or sitting Boston City councilors have made the $50 million commitment. This funding is a down payment on the future of public housing in the Commonwealth.
It is a travesty that despite sounding the alarm for years, BHA has suffered from decades of disinvestment from the federal government which has resulted in $2.6 billion of deferred maintenance. Each of those 2.6 billion dollars could improve the daily lives of BHA residents.
GBIO recognizes the considerable steps BHA has taken to improve its maintenance capacity despite the challenges it faces. These steps include approving funding for eight new additional staff from the building trades to supplement existing maintenance crews at Mildres C. Hailey and contracting for an external “100% inspection,” meaning all units will receive a third-party review. GBIO leaders are also appreciative for weekly senior management meetings on work order reduction and quality control inspections.
Basic maintenance will not do. We must recognize the current situation for the crisis it is, have the courage to invest in our city’s public housing, and provide everyone with a dignified home. GBIO is proud to be working with BHA to help achieve these goals.