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Housing Court-supported Tenancy Program Receives Positive Review - Massachusetts Disability News

  • Synopsis: Published: 2010-06-01 - Program is highly effective in preventing homelessness among tenants with mental disabilities. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Massachusetts Disability News.
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A report on the Tenancy Preservation Program (TPP) run by MassHousing in partnership with the Housing Court has concluded that the program is highly effective in preventing homelessness among tenants with mental disabilities.

The recently-issued report, conducted by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute, also reflects that TPP is exceptionally cost effective in preventing at-risk households from being evicted as a result of behaviors related to mental disabilities.

"The Donahue Institute Report on the Tenancy Preservation Program confirms that it is a critical resource for preventing homelessness among some of the most vulnerable members of our society," said Chief Justice of the Housing Court Steven Pierce. "The Housing Court has expanded the program throughout the state, based on the positive outcomes that we have achieved for these families in collaboration with MassHousing."

The detailed study of 676 TPP cases was conducted from January 2008 through June 2009 and involved 732 adult tenants, 581 minor children and 106 adult children. The study concluded that the average cost of a TPP case was just $2,377.

TPP was started by MassHousing in 1999 in Springfield and has since expanded statewide to all five divisions of the Housing Court. TPP attempts to prevent homelessness by addressing tenancy problems of vulnerable residents who are at risk of eviction for lease violations resulting from mental illness, substance abuse, mental retardation, elderly dementia or other mental impairments. TPP functions as a neutral party between the landlord and tenant. In consultation with the Housing Court, TPP works with the property owner and tenant to determine whether the disability can be reasonably accommodated and the tenancy preserved. If the tenancy cannot be preserved, TPP can assist the tenant in transitioning to other suitable housing.

TPP is a collaborative effort between MassHousing, the Department of Housing and Community Development, Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Executive Office of Elder Affairs, and regional social service providers.

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