Northeastern University: Center of Community Services
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NU|ACES Community Partner Spotlight: Boston Housing Authority

By ACES Ambassador Grace Wang

Boston Housing Authority

When a Northeastern student saw a Boston Housing Authority (BHA) booth at the school’s Volunteer Fair and asked if he could get CEP hours from volunteering with them, Boston Housing Authority’s Language Access Team learned about CEP and decided to become a community partner. If you go visit them today, you can see the cute artwork done by CEP students on the wall of the team’s office. After CEP’s transition to NU|ACES, they continue to work with Northeastern as community partner for NU|ACES students.

BHA is an organization that provides low income individuals with subsidized housing through Tenant-Based Section 8 vouchers and other similar programs. In total, around 29,000 people are served by BHA under these subsidy programs. BHA also owns rental units of public housing and houses over 25,000 people in these sites.

The organization provides many ways for students to get involved through the Language Access Team. The Language Access Team ensures that BHA applicants and residents are able to have the language support they need to be successful. Students partnered through NU|ACES work with the Wellness Connect Program, which is a program where students go visit elderly BHA residents to provide language services ranging from helping read mail, filling out application forms, and making doctor appointments. As an individual, students can participate in the Volunteers Interpreters Program, which provides housing interpreters in over 30 different languages, with Chinese, Spanish, and French being the most needed. Students are trained via orientation and shadowing sessions on how to be an interpreter.

If you are bilingual and want to get involved, contact BHA’s Language Access Division at LanguageAccessTeam@bostonhousing.org