Boston receives 1,000 housing vouchers for homeless

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Mayor Martin J. Walsh — who said he’s “the first to criticize when they don’t do the right thing” — lauded the federal government Thursday while announcing 1,000 new housing vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be dispersed to residents battling chronic homelessness.

“One of the biggest things I hear every day is about the housing crunch and families being forced out of the city,” Walsh said. “This provides a good network of vouchers for families here in Boston.”

Walsh said the vouchers were almost in jeopardy because of the government shutdown.

“I was concerned about what was going to happen with these vouchers,” he added. “What they’re going to do is really provide 1,000 families with an opportunity to live in a home.”

Paulina Morillo, who says she had to enter a shelter with her kids in 2013, spoke about how her life has changed since receiving Section 8 housing.

“Section 8 gave me a place for me and my children to call home and a stable place to live,” she said. “With this stability, I have been able to maintain a decently paying job, along with child care for my children.”

David Tille, the regional administrator, applauded the efforts in Boston toward affordable housing and called it a great day to celebrate the work being done to combat homelessness in the city.

“When I was told that we were making this announcement, I imagined the excitement, the hope and the promise of a new day that will come for each family that will receive one of these vouchers,” he said.

Walsh, who is often critical of the lack of help the city gets from the federal government, said there still needs to be more housing efforts coming from HUD and hopes this will begin a better partnership.

“Ending homelessness is one of Boston’s top priorities,” Walsh said. “Even though we have 1,000, the need is still greater. We’re not going to stop working. We can take a minute to celebrate, and then we go back at it.”