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State, Local Officials To Meet On Springfield Homeless Issues


The top state housing official in Massachusetts will host a meeting Monday to discuss emergency shelters for the homeless in Springfield.

The meeting with Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Sec Jay Ash follows complaints from Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno that homeless families are being sheltered in de facto rooming houses, at state expense, concentrated in a few neighborhoods. The practice started last fall as the administration of former Gov Deval Patrick tried to reduce the number of homeless families living in motels. 

State Senator James Welch of Springfield worked with local and state officials to set up the meeting.

"  I get the sense that Gov. Baker and his administration want to look at this in a new way, in a fresh way," Welch said.

Springfield officials say they’ve discovered 86 apartments with multiple homeless families.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.