More than half of residents in Springfield experience a high housing cost burden. In communities like this, affordable housing is essential both for the stability it provides and the opportunities it creates.
Jennifer Alleyne is a resident of Bay Meadow Apartments, a 148-unit apartment community in Springfield. The development is managed by POAH and received financing from MassHousing to preserve affordability and support property updates.
"I love Bay Meadow Apartments. I wouldn't have stayed here so long if I didn't" said Jennifer, who moved to the community in 2002. "It is a beautiful property and the staff keeps up with the area so well. If I have a problem all I do is call the office and the staff comes and fixes it in a timely manner. It is very convenient, and the staff is always available."
She continued, "My family loves the apartments too. When they come to visit there is so much we can do, like barbeque, picnic, or go to the pool. It's a beautiful community and a good place to raise a family!"
Although her time at Bay Meadow has been nothing but positive, Jennifer is working toward homeownership. That goal is supported by Bay Meadow's and POAH's enrollment in the Compass Family Self-Sufficiency Program, a HUD-supported pilot that provides opportunities for education, job training, counseling and other forms of social service assistance.
It was through this program that Jennifer met finance coach Christine Torres, who helped Jennifer learn valuable skills and motivate her to reach her goals.
"My Compass Coach, Christine Torres, is really awesome," Jennifer said. "She guided me and made me care when at first, I didn't. I now know I need credit to buy a car and a home, she really changed my entire outlook and I'm getting ready to purchase my first home."
In addition, Jennifer attended a homebuying workshop hosted by MassHousing's HomeOwnership and Rental Management Divisions. It was one of several held in different locations in Massachusetts.
"The programs are designed to help working people get situated in their finances and reach their goals," Jennifer added. "It has helped me budget, pay my bills on time and improve my credit score. It was a life changer and has been an awesome experience."
Affordable rental communities like Bay Meadow—and programs such as those made possible by POAH and MassHousing—are helping people define and achieve their goals.