Bank of America, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, HomeStart and United Way announce new partnership to expand first-in-the-nation eviction-prevention program

November 26, 2018

Boston – (November 26, 2018) Bank of America, Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), HomeStart and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley are today announcing a new first-in-the-nation partnership aimed at preventing homelessness in Massachusetts and improving educational and financial outcomes for children and families at risk.  The partnership is centered on expanding a program in Greater Boston developed by HomeStart known as The Renew Collaborative, an effective public-private-nonprofit model that promises to significantly reduce eviction rates for non‐payment of rent.

“We created the Renew Collaborative, a collaboration between a landlord, tenant, and service provider and, in doing so, created a disruptive social innovation that is systemically changing the eviction crisis,” said Matthew Pritchard, President and Executive Director of HomeStart.  “This partnership model has prevented more than 2000 evictions. Even more powerful is the stability it brings to families in need.  Our data shows that 48 months after the intervention, 95 percent of our clients were not evicted and remained housed.”

While every family situation is unique, research suggests a common driver of homelessness is evictions. According to the Eviction Lab, founded by Matthew Desmond, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evicted and a HomeStart Advisory Board member, in 2016 there were 15,708 evictions in Massachusetts — the equivalent of 42 evictions per day.  Cities with the highest rates include Boston, Worcester, Fall River, Brockton, and Quincy.

Through the Renew Collaborative model, short-term, intensive case management is offered to low‐income families who are facing non‐payment eviction and are on the brink of homelessness. Additionally, families are offered landlord negotiation, access to small grants of rental assistance, and post‐crisis stabilization support. HomeStart’s initial results through its partnership with the Boston Housing Authority are promising; more than 97% of households remain housed one year later and after 48 months after the intervention, only 5% of households have been evicted for nonpayment.   

The new partnership will launch with an investment of $175,000 from Bank of America, CJP, and United Way, which will seed the expansion of the successful Renew Collaborative model to the South Shore. The Renew Collaborative addresses evictions — one of the most urgent issues facing major metropolitan areas across the country. It brings tenants and landlords to the table as part of the solution and also reduces costs for state and city social services (housing, education, and healthcare).

Bank of America, CJP, HomeStart, and United Way will work together to leverage additional funds to replicate the Renew Collaborative through partnerships between local service providers, housing authorities, and property management companies.

“This prevention-based model is designed to improve outcomes for families in the Commonwealth who are often just one financial setback away from homelessness,” said Miceal Chamberlain, Massachusetts President, Bank of America. “Stability in housing strengthens local communities and protects families from a poverty spiral that has real implications on the economic mobility of future generations. We appreciate the opportunity to support this groundbreaking initiative and be part of the homelessness solution in Massachusetts.”

“Given Greater Boston’s expensive housing market and low supply of affordable housing, recovering from an eviction is extremely challenging and disruptive,” said Michael K. Durkin,

President and Chief Executive Officer at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “Often, already struggling families face a precipitating economic event — a layoff or medical bill that resulted in eviction and ultimately homelessness. United Way is proud to partner with Bank of America and CJP to prevent more evictions, scale what’s working and help more people in need.”

“CJP has always prioritized working with our community and beyond so that all people can thrive, and no one in any community can do that without safe, stable, and dignified housing. HomeStart’s groundbreaking eviction-prevention model is leading the way on keeping families in their homes and preventing the devastating effects of eviction. Our core Jewish values include a deep commitment to justice in our larger world, and we are proud to partner with other major foundations to support this tremendous work being done throughout the city of Boston,” said Rabbi Marc Baker, President and CEO of CJP.

HomeStart’s pioneering approach to bringing people together around the goal of keeping families in their homes will be featured at “Invest in Results because Outcomes Matter: Boston,” a Nov. 27 free event at The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Co-hosted by Bank of America, The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Nonprofit Finance Fund, and Philanthropy Massachusetts, the event is part of a national campaign to change the way we pay for social services, and encourage stakeholders to work together in pursuit of shared, measurable results.  ###

For more information:

Brigid Boyd, United Way | 339.236.1161

Karen Kuwayti, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, 617-457-8549