Thursday, April 24, 2014
   
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Issues: Other Services

Housing

Rising living costs and a dwindling stock of affordable housing has had a serious impact on the Commonwealth's ability to retain immigrant and native-born workers and families.  Immigrant and minority households have been the targets of discriminatory and exploitative practices by landlords and real estate and finance professionals, leading to exclusion of immigrants, foreclosures, and neighborhood blight. At the same time, immigrant home-ownership and tenancy have revitalized many cities and towns, bringing stability and investment to communities.

MIRA works to improve immigrant access to housing by advocating for:

Multi-lingual public outreach and education on housing and consumer issues, including: renting, home-buying, financial services, predatory lending, etc. and the provision of a state-produced consolidated multilingual booklet and website of basic information about housing including tenant rights, housing services, applications, and financing.

Investment and promotion of community development by increasing public funding for subsidized housing and developments with a diverse range of incomes and family types.

 

Food & Nutrition

Low-income households with at least one member who is a citizen or immigrant with legal permanent residency status for at least five years, are eligible for Food SNAP services (food stamps).  Households with one citizen or legal permanent resident child (under 18) are eligible without the five year waiting-period.  Moreover, individuals or families who apply for Food SNAP benefits are not considered a public charge for the purposes of readjusting status or applying for naturalization.

MIRA works to improve low-income immigrant access to nutritious food by advocating for:

Multi-lingual Public Outreach and Education from the Department of Transitional Assistance and Department of Agriculture including: child nutrition, language access, and debunking myths about Food SNAP & public charge

Eliminating Verification Barriers by addressing the misunderstanding about eligibility rules (i.e. household size, immigration status within household, income, employment history), and removing excess verification practices by DTA offices.

Child Nutrition Re-authorization and FoodSNAP Funding for adequate and healthy nutrition for children and continuation of federal FoodSNAP funding that is crucial for low-income and/or single-parent families.

 

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