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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

麻州下星期可拿到10萬多劑J&J疫苗

麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)。
             (Boston Orange)麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)(31)早在昆士市的活動中表示,聯邦政府將於下週拿到100萬劑強生(J&J)新冠病毒疫苗,估計麻州可分到10萬多劑。

                查理貝克今早到昆士市是為宣佈州政府「住宅選擇(Housing Choice)」項目中的2000萬元,將撥400萬元給昆士市,協助建造房屋,安置無家可歸者。

             查理貝克說,聯邦人員告訴他,將分發1000萬劑強生(J&J)疫苗給全美各州,其中500萬劑發給政府的零售藥店計畫,500萬劑交給各州政府支配。麻州至少會得到10萬多劑強生疫苗。他認為此舉意義重大,因為強生疫苗只須施打一劑,等2星期就生效了。輝瑞(Pfizer)和莫德納(Moderna)疫苗各需施打兩劑,總共得等6星期,才能當作疫苗接種完畢,時效優劣不言可見。

             從麻州開始為州內410萬名成人注射疫苗到現在,包括三種不同疫苗在內,麻州政府總共已收到4063570劑疫苗。在麻州週二公布的數據中,麻州已施打3483,277劑疫苗,其中有85,520劑是J&J疫苗。

             下週一時,年滿55歲,或是有一種以上病症的人將有資格接種疫苗,到419日時,所有16歲以上人將都可以注射疫苗。

麻州政府2000萬元住宅建造補助款 昆士市得400萬

昆士市長柯奇(Tom Koch)表示將要蓋新的昆士市警察局。
              (Boston Orange 周菊子麻州綜合報導)麻州州長查理貝(Charlie Baker)331日在昆士市宣佈,「住宅選擇計畫(Housing Choice Initiative」將撥500萬元給28個社區。麻州政府住宅及社區發展廳將共撥款400萬元支持昆士市的「比爾神父之家(Father Bill's & Main Spring)」。

麻州長透露聯邦政府將發出500萬劑強生疫苗,麻州估計可得到
數以十萬計的強生疫苗。

         麻州州長查理貝克,副州長白莉朵(Karyn Polito),麻州住宅及經濟發展長(Secretary of Housing and Economic Development) Mike Kennealy,以及轄區包括昆士市的麻州眾議會議長Ronald Mariano,麻州參議員John Keenan,昆士市市長柯奇(Tom Koch)等人聯袂出席記者會,宣佈共撥發430萬元給19個社區,717761元給人口7000以下的9個小城,以及14個社區獲選列入「住宅選擇」計畫,其中6個社區為重新獲選列入,8個社區新獲選。麻州「住宅選擇」計畫,如今包括昆士市在內,共有78個社區。

             昆士市的「比爾神父之家(Father Bill's & Main Spring)」遷至原址對街,重建為包括100個流浪漢床位,以及住宅單位的發展計劃,將經由麻州政府的「住宅選擇」計畫,以及住宅及經濟發展廳(DHCD)的支持性住宅獎助等項目,共獲得400萬元補助。

             查理貝克表示,麻州內房屋昂貴的原因之一,就是因為建造量、供應量不足,市面住宅短缺。他上任以來一直致力改善這一現象。麻州政府指出,查理貝克在2017年推出,20211月簽署成法的「住宅選擇」計畫,為市鎮提供技術及經費援助,預定到2025年時,為麻州增加135000個住宅單位。

             麻州政府在一份新聞稿中稱,從2015年開始,麻州政府已斥資超過14億元建造可負擔住宅,以致少建成或保護了2萬個住宅單位,其中包括18,000個可負擔住宅。2018年查理貝克還簽署了18億元,這歷年來金額最高的住宅債券法案,用於建造及保留可負擔住宅。今年查理貝克又簽署了名為「促進成長合作法(An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth)」的經濟發展法案,並經由「麻州工作基礎架構項目(MassWorks Infrastructue Program)」,支持建造17,000個綜合收入住宅單位等等。

             「比爾神父之家(Father Bill's & Main Spring)」原本座落在昆士市Broad38號。位於該址的樓宇將夷為平地,已建造新的昆士市警察局及公安大樓。,「比爾神父之家」將遷進對街的2棟新大樓內。其中將先建造的那一棟大樓,會有可辦各項培訓活動的日間中心,以及緊急庇護所,醫療門診等。

             另一棟將在第二階段施工的大樓,會有30個供人永久性居住的小公寓。

             「比爾神父之家」執行長John Yazwinski表示,整個計畫預計耗資2400萬元。麻州政府補助的400萬元,將用於第一階段施工。該機構還需另外找到700萬元的私營機構投資。目前該機構已籌得320萬元。

             被稱為「住宅資源中心(Housing Resource Center)」的這第一階段大樓,預定今年稍後開工。

             昆士市長柯奇稱這建築計畫是個「新開始」。

培養七大領域未來人力 麻州企業合作成立技能聯盟

 Statewide and Regional Business Associations Announce New Skills Coalition and Policy Agenda

Statewide and regional business associations from across the Commonwealth have launched the Massachusetts Business Coalition on Skills (MBCS). The new statewide coalition will advocate for policies that develop the skills of our current and future workforce. 

 The MBCS formed because there are two sides to the skills gap and both can drag job and economic growth. On the employer side, it is difficult to find qualified talent: a 2019 survey by coalition member Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) found that 73% of Massachusetts employers find it “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult” to find people with the right skills to fill open positions. For workers, new skills are the springboard to job opportunities and growth: a 2016 Pew Research Center survey found that 87% of working adults believe developing new skills throughout their work life will be “essential” or “important” to career success.

Over the last year, members of the Coalition’s steering committee researched, discussed, and refined policy proposals to address both the employer and employee side of the skills gap. The recommendations aim to leverage the state’s entire workforce, not just graduates with 4-year degrees, by creating a statewide standard of essential skills, expanding access to career and vocational technical education (CVTE), and incentivizing employers to provide ongoing skills training to employees. 

“The Massachusetts Business Coalition on Skills is a robust, collaborative effort to close the state’s skills gaps, solidifying Massachusetts as the best place to learn, work, and do business. The state’s skills gaps are not only limiting the economic opportunity available to students and the workforce, skills gaps are also hindering the competitiveness of Massachusetts employers. To ensure an equitable economic recovery post-pandemic, the state’s talent and businesses require policy solutions that this new coalition is uniquely positioned to deliver,” said James E. Rooney, President & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. 

Closing the skills gaps in Massachusetts requires targeted solutions. As part of the coalition’s launch, the MBCS releases its policy agenda aimed at ensuring every resident can acquire the in-demand skills needed to be successful in the workforce. The MBCS’s policy agenda includes seven priority areas: 

·       Create a pathway toward essential skills development

·       Modernize Career Vocational Technical Education (CVTE) 

·       Incentivize employer training initiatives

·       Support Massachusetts’ ongoing training initiatives 

·       Set statewide and regional training goals

·       Simplify workforce development

·       Increase employer engagement.

MBCS Members as of March 2021:

·       1Berkshire

·       Amplify Latinx

·       Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce

·       Black Economic Council of Massachusetts

·       Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce

·       Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce

·       Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

·       Kendall Square Association

·       MassTLC

·       Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education

·       Massachusetts Business Roundtable 

·       Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation

·       Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce

·       Neponset River Regional Chamber of Commerce

·       Newton-Needham Regional Chamber of Commerce

·       North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce

·       One SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce

·       Quincy Chamber of Commerce

·       Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce

·       Somerville Chamber of Commerce

·       Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council

·       Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce 

黎卓宇伊莎貝拉博物館演奏會視頻 中華表演基金會Youtube頻道免費播至4/22

中華表演藝術基金會會長譚嘉陵(右)和鋼琴家黎卓宇(左)。

           (Boston Orange) 中華表演藝術基金會舉辦的「黎卓宇鋼琴演奏會」原定去年12月演出,受新冠病毒疫情影響,一再延期,更換地點後,313日在遵守現場人數限制為10的疫情規定中,於伊莎貝拉博物館 (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum)完美演出。

              中華表演藝術基金會會長譚嘉陵表示,礙於疫情,人們無法親到現場,現已徵得黎卓宇的全球總代理「華納古典」唱片公司同意,把完整演出視頻上載到Youtube頻道,在422日前供人們欣賞。

黎卓宇在伊莎貝拉博物館演奏。

              中華表演藝術基金會的音樂會系列,從去年以來就因為新冠病毒疫情,不斷因應環境變化做調整,邀請曾獲2015年柴可夫斯基大賽銀獎的黎卓宇獨奏,同時慶祝鋼琴大師羅梭舒曼(Russel Sherman)九秩晉一華誕的音樂會,原定去年12月舉行,後因疫情,博物館關閉,演出日期延至一月,再改三月,但又礙於政府的疫情期間規定,偌大的四層樓,可容300人表演廳,也限制只能有10人出席,讓人殊感遺憾,可幸的是,現場人數雖少,出席者和表演者在同一時空中由音樂牽出的情感交流,互相欣賞,卻是那麼真誠。

黎卓宇當晚表演的第一首曲目是貝多芬臨終前譜撰的樂章,第32號奏鳴曲,Op. 111號作品,曲中盡現一代樂聖告別世界時,心中的無奈與不捨。

另一首演奏曲目是李斯特的B小調奏鳴曲

黎卓宇當晚演奏了兩首安可曲目,向兩名對他影響深遠的人致敬。第一曲「奉獻(Widmung -Dedication)」是Robert Schumann的作品。他藉此向九秩晉一的羅梭舒曼(Russell Sherman)祝壽,也感謝舒曼及其夫人Wha Kyung Byun在音樂上給他的不斷啟發。第二首曲目,蕭邦夜曲,是獻給他的鋼琴啟蒙老師,今年二月因癌症突然辭世,在他之外還培養出Eric Lu等多名傑出鋼琴家的楊鏡川(Dorothy Yang Shi)

黎卓宇。
黎卓宇在過去這些年間獲獎無數,和世界各地的許多著名指揮擊樂團合作都佳評如潮,曾經得過得大獎包括2015年的柴可夫斯基大賽銀獎,2016年的艾利·費舍爾職業獎(Avery Fisher Career Award)2012年的吉爾莫爾青年藝術家獎 (Gilmore Young Artist Award)等等。

目前黎卓宇已從哈佛和紐英倫音樂學院的聯合學位項目畢業,得到哈佛的學士及紐英倫音樂學院的碩士學位,正在繼續攻讀紐英倫音樂學院的藝術家文憑學位(Artist Diploma),繼續和 Wha Kyung Byun老師學習。

波士頓音樂雜誌(Boston Musical Intelligencer)樂評,曾任莫斯科Kommersaut日報樂評的Victor Khatutsky看了錄像後說,雖然是錄像,但可能和那10名幸運的現場觀眾有關,演出氣氛幾乎有實體音樂會感覺。黎卓宇把貝多芬生前最後鉅作,Op. 111號作品那種告別生命的無奈,表現得強而有震撼力,充滿真情,不同色調,還注意到了每一個細節,的確是一名卓越傑出的鋼琴家,要向教導他的老師們敬禮。

黎卓宇的這場演奏,經中華表演藝術基金會努力協商,徵得黎卓宇的全球唱片總代理,也是世界最大古典音樂唱片公司的華納Warner Classics同意,已錄影並上載到該會YouTube頻道,免費播映至422日,https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUDuiQiOzZI_M7iDNXWXEDA/videos(圖片由中華表演藝術基金會提供)

波士頓舉辦「COVID-19疫苗面面觀」講座 臺美第一線防疫醫師分享經驗

蘇鴻昌(第二排第三人)主持會議。波士頓經文處處長孫儉元(最右排
第三人)等嘉賓出席。

(Boston OCAC)北美洲臺商總會健康福利委員會、波士頓臺灣世衞委員會、駐波士頓臺北經濟文化辦事處、波士頓文教中心「i臺灣窗口」及波士頓急難救助協會等結合當地僑團、僑臺商會共同主辦之「COVID-19疫苗的面面觀」講座於326日晚間於線上舉行,邀請臺北長庚醫院感染科主任黃景泰、Harvard Vanguard Medical DirectorJustin YangMD兩位醫師分享及說明近來受到高度關注之COVID-19疫苗相關議題,並由北美臺商總會進行臉書直播。

座談會由北美洲臺商總會健康福利委員會主委蘇鴻昌主持,駐波士頓臺北經濟文化辦事處處長孫儉元、北美洲臺商總會會長吳怡明及波士頓文教中心主任潘昭榮等應邀參加。孫儉元指出,防疫不應有任何鬆懈,即使已接種疫苗,仍應遵守防疫規定,戴口罩並保持社交距離;另提醒最近因美國反亞裔熱潮,請僑胞鄉親要注意自身安全,有任何需要可電洽駐處尋求協助。

黃景泰醫師首先簡報分享疫苗之作用方式及其製造原理,臺灣國產疫苗開發進度,高端與聯亞兩大廠商所研發疫苗的差異,並分析全球四大類型疫苗的製作方法、優缺點及其可能副作用,也比較了國際四大COVID-19疫苗廠商所產製疫苗的保護能力、須施打劑量、售價、保存温度、保存期及相對優點等。

Justin Yang醫師。

Justin Yang醫師則分享自20203月美國疫情大爆發以來,站在醫療第一線抗疫的經驗,如何預約COVID-19檢測,有哪幾家美國保險公司可給付因旅遊出入境檢測費用,在波士頓地區如何接種疫苗,以及建議先洽詢家庭醫師所屬醫院是否配有疫苗,以便較快獲得安排施打;另再強調美國市面上COVID-19疫苗都非常安全,除非確定該疫苗製作成份會引起自身過敏,否則皆不宜以過敏或懷孕為由而不接種。兩位醫師在簡報後並接受提問及進行意見交流。北美洲臺商總會會長吳怡明最後提醒大家,如有疫苗可接種就儘早施打,無論何種品牌疫苗都能有一定的防疫效果,可保護自己也保護他人。

黃景泰醫師。
參與合辦講座的單位尚有慈濟波士頓聯絡處、波克萊臺灣商會、新英格蘭大波士頓臺灣商會、波士頓急難救助協會、臺灣佇遮計劃(Here I Stand ProjectHISP)等。 (波士頓華僑文教中心新聞稿及照片)

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo Announces Efforts to Advance Offshore Wind Power Generation

 U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo Announces Efforts to Advance Offshore Wind Power Generation

WASHINGTON -- In a roundtable meeting convened by the White House today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced two new initiatives that will advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s clean energy goals by harnessing the economic potential of offshore wind power generation to combat the climate crisis and create more clean energy jobs.

“These actions illustrate the Department’s commitment to innovative partnerships to advance the best science and data that will ensure the development of offshore wind is transparent and inclusive of all stakeholders,” said Secretary Raimondo. “We look forward to working across the public and private sectors to invest in clean energy solutions, like offshore wind, that will contribute to our whole-of-government approach to combat the climate emergency and create high-paying, high-skilled American jobs.”

The Commerce Department, along with the Departments of Interior and Energy, are announcing a shared goal to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind in the United States by 2030, while protecting biodiversity and promoting ocean co-use. Meeting this target will trigger more than $12 billion per year in capital investment in projects on both U.S. coasts, create tens of thousands of good-paying, union jobs, with more than 44,000 workers employed in offshore wind by 2030 and nearly 33,000 additional jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activity. It will also generate enough power to meet the demand of more than 10 million American homes for a year and avoid 78 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has entered a memorandum of agreement with Ørsted Wind Power North America LLC, an offshore wind development company to share physical and biological data in Ørsted-leased waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction. NOAA anticipates that Ørsted’s data will fill gaps in ocean mapping and observing to help NOAA better understand weather, climate and ocean processes and build resilient coastal communities and economies. As part of the agreement, NOAA will also share its publicly available data with Ørsted. Together, this information sharing will be used to ensure that offshore renewable energy technologies and infrastructure are developed, deployed, and maintained effectively. The Memorandum is the first of its kind between an offshore wind developer and NOAA – and paves the way for similar data-sharing agreements with other offshore wind developers.

NOAA’s Northeast Sea Grant Consortium, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office and Water Power Technologies Office, and NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, is announcing over $1 million in research funding to improve understanding of offshore renewable energy interactions with fishing and coastal communities in order to optimize ocean co-use. With a focus on advancing community and economic resilience, the funding opportunity aims to catalyze proactive socio-economic and technology research for offshore renewable energy planning in the Northeast, for the benefit of a variety of stakeholders.

Learn more about the announcements and offshore wind:
- Memorandum of Agreement between NOAA and Ørsted Wind Power North America LLC
- Research funding opportunity to improve understanding of Northeast renewable energy interactions
- NOAA’s regulatory and scientific role in offshore wind development

MAYOR JANEY ANNOUNCES OPENING OF APPLICATIONS FOR SUCCESSLINK YOUTH JOBS PROGRAM

MAYOR JANEY ANNOUNCES OPENING OF APPLICATIONS FOR SUCCESSLINK YOUTH JOBS PROGRAM

 

BOSTON - March 30, 2021 - Mayor Kim Janey today announced the opening of SuccessLink Summer Youth Job applications. SuccessLink is the City of Boston's online tool that enables Boston youth to register for summer jobs. Applications are open on the City's website now through May 9 for Boston teens aged 15 to 18. With the support of the Mayor’s Health Human Service (HHS) cabinet, the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment’s (DYEE) commitment to youth jobs remains steadfast in spite of the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City will aim to provide 5,000 jobs to youth and young adults this summer across more than 170 nonprofit, community-based organizations and city agencies. 

"The SuccessLink Youth Summer Jobs program provides Boston’s youth with valuable skills and opportunities that will empower them and lead them to future success in the workforce,” said Mayor Kim Janey. “I encourage all Boston teens to apply for the program, as it will inspire personal growth and allow for a head start for future opportunities in the working world.”

In FY22 Mayor Janey will invest an additional $4.7 million in youth jobs, increasing the total budget to $12.5 million that translates to enriching youth jobs in organizations located in neighborhoods across the city to give youth early exposure to various career paths. In the summer of 2020, there was significant interest in the Learn and Earn Postsecondary Program. This engaged young people in college courses at partner institutions, such as Benjamin Franklin Institute, Bunker Hill Community College, Roxbury Community College, and Urban College of Boston, and provided career coaching to allow teens to earn their summer paychecks. A considerable number of youth engaged in virtual and hybrid project-based learning in partnership with Northeastern University/Practera and SuccessLink’s peer-to-peer partnerships. The most involved investments and commitments came from local partner organizations. Nonprofits, community-based organizations, and city agencies designed creative approaches to host young people in internships and summer jobs. 

Like last summer, SuccessLink will continue to offer a combination of hybrid, virtual and in-person work experiences in a range of fields, including the arts, government and advocacy, STEM, sports and recreation, childcare, education, and more. In partnership with DYEE, the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development will continue the Learn and Earn Postsecondary program. Virtual experiential learning through project-based activities will also be offered, focusing efforts on providing jobs to vulnerable youth populations through the Massachusetts Commonwealth Corporation YouthWorks partnership. This partnership ensures disadvantaged, vulnerable and youth with identified risk barriers have access to employment opportunities.

As an additional youth leadership development initiative, DYEE is collaborating with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Advancement to further a Dreamers Fellowship initiative designed to engage immigrant youth. 

To further strengthen the Boston summer jobs program, DYEE has introduced a grant funding component for partner organizations as part of the SuccessLink Youth Employment Program. This new approach will provide selected grantees with an allocated number of youth positions, where the wages for the youth employees will be funded through a grant. The partner organization will be responsible for managing the recruitment, hiring, and payroll process for youth participants. The goal of this revised service delivery model is to increase job placements and improve quality experiences for youth and non-profits who partner with the City of Boston to hire and create workforce development opportunities for young people. 

 

With the introduction of grant partnerships, there are two ways for youth to get connected to a SuccessLink job:

·    SuccessLink Direct Jobs: Youth will be hired by the City of Boston through the traditional SuccessLink portal to work across various organizations

·    SuccessLink Grant Jobs: Youth will be hired directly through the grant partners’ online application process. 

Because of this change, the DYEE youth jobs webpage has been redesigned to help young people navigate the application, onboarding, and hiring processes. This ensures that youth and families have access to the resources they need to effectively navigate the employment process. 

The SuccessLink Youth Employment Program is largely funded by the City of Boston and is designed not only to recruit and hire youth, but also to ensure that their employment experience is engaging, meaningful, and serves as a building block for their professional development and personal success. DYEE also partners with a host of nonprofit organizations, city and quasi-city agencies, as well as other key youth employment providers across the city, supported with outside additional resources, including Action for Boston Community Development, the Boston Private Industry Council, John Hancock’s MLK Scholars, Youth Options Unlimited, and the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, to provide meaningful employment opportunities to a collective 8,000 youth between the ages of 14-21. 

Youth interested in applying to DYEE’s SuccessLink Summer Job Program must meet the following requirements:

Must be a full-time resident of the City of Boston

Must turn 15 years old on or before September 1, 2021

Cannot turn 19 years old on or before September 1, 2021

Must be legally permitted to work in the United States

For more information on DYEE’s summer employment program and additional youth resources, visit youth.boston.gov.


麻州總檢察官警告民眾小心新冠疫苗詐欺

AG HEALEY ISSUES UPDATED ADVISORY TO WARN RESIDENTS ABOUT COVID-19 VACCINE SCAMS

New Scams are Cropping Up as More Massachusetts Residents Receive the Vaccine

            BOSTON – As more Massachusetts residents receive and become eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Attorney General Maura Healey is issuing an updated advisory to residents about potential scams and misinformation intended to exploit the pandemic, while reminding residents to have confidence in the vaccination process. 

The AG’s Office has received reports about people getting spam or scam emails or texts after they’ve received vaccines or registered for vaccines through legitimate websites. While there have been no reported breaches of patient information from legitimate vaccine websites, the AG’s Office urges people to remain cautious about vaccine scams.

“Scammers are always looking for the next opportunity to take advantage of a crisis, and now they are targeting people who may have just signed up for or received the vaccine,” AG Healey said. “We’ve been in touch with our state and health care partners to ensure patient information isn’t being shared, compromised, or sold through official vaccine websites. We want people to be confident about signing up for and receiving the vaccine through those sites, while remaining vigilant about vaccine scams.”

            Many of these vaccine scams involve people who’ve registered for or received the vaccine who then get spam or scam emails or text congratulating them on their appointment or vaccination and asking them to click a link to claim a prize of some kind. The timing is likely coincidental now that more than two million Massachusetts residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. People should still follow the following advice:

  • Be Cautious: Don’t respond to or click on links from a person or company you do not know, especially if it asks for personal or financial information. Many of these are phishing attempts. Instead, contact the person or company directly using a phone number or website you know is real. Never provide personal information, including passwords, bank account details, or your Social Security number via email or text to an unverified source.
  • Be Wary of Requests for Payment: Be wary of any unsolicited offers that require you to provide credit card or bank account information or ask for payment or a deposit in exchange for early or expediated access to vaccines. You cannot pay to jump the line and Massachusetts residents do not have to pay out of pocket for the vaccine.
  • Disinformation Campaigns: AG Healey urged Facebook and Twitter to take stronger measures to stop the spread of dangerous anti-vaxxer disinformation on their social media platforms. Online campaigns with a range of disinformation have flourished, sparking fear and distrust about vaccines. To prevent the spread of misinformation, don’t forward or share these false messages. Instead, for accurate information, consult with reputable sources including your doctor, trusted community leaders, the CDC, Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and your city or town board of health. 
  • Report Spam or Scams: General spam emails (emails without any of your personal information) should be reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3.gov). If you have reason to think that your personal information has been compromised, contact the AG’s Office at ago@mass.gov.

For more information and guidance on COVID-related email scams and phone scams, see the AG’s December 2020 vaccine scam advisory.

To avoid fraud, the AG’s Office advises that residents follow guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s website for up-to-date information about authorized vaccine distribution in Massachusetts, and never share your personal or health information with anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals. The AG’s Office also recommends the Federal Trade Commission’s guidance on avoiding COVID-19 vaccine scams.

Visit AG Healey’s COVID-19 resource page for information about how the AG’s Office can provide additional support during this crisis.

波士頓市長Kim Janey 宣佈5000萬元租金紓困款

波士頓市代理市長 Kim Janey.

(Boston Orange周菊子綜合報導)波士頓市代理市長Kim Janey(30)日宣佈,不但聯邦政府的暫停逼遷令效期將展延至630日,波士頓市還將撥發5000萬元「租金紓困款(Rental Relief Fund)」,在新冠病毒大流行期間幫助租戶穩定居所。

這筆新款項還將擴大應用範圍,容許市府協助符合資格租戶支付水電費,搬家費,以及租房子時需繳交的第一個月和最後一個月房租,以及安全押金。其中大約有300萬元將分給波士頓房屋局(BHA)的欠交租金的公屋租客。

            成立於20204月的「租金紓困款」,迄今已發出780萬元給1860多戶人家。70%的申請者是黑人,土著,以及有色人種。30%申請者報稱目前或以前在酒店等休閒娛樂業工作。

波士頓鄰里服務局局長Sheila Dillon。
               自從新冠病毒大流行以來,休閒娛樂業遭受打擊最大。在新冠病毒大流行的最高峰時期,約有34000名在這領域工作的波士頓市居民,申請了失業救濟。約46%的申請者報稱雇主關門或縮減營運,10%因為托兒所或學校關門而收入減少。

            鄰里可負擔住宅(NOAH)主任Philip Giffee表示,這筆新資金將可確保居民持續有瓦遮頂。

              新的「租金紓困款」將可用於支付最高達12個月的租金,而且可以用於支付以前,現在或未來的租金。這筆錢也可以用於支付水電費,網際網路費,在波士頓市內的搬家費,或是部分的房租。

               12個月之內,美戶人家最多可領15000元補助。波士頓市府鼓勵以前曾經申請並獲得租金援助者,重新申請。

               申請資格包括收入低於地區中位收入的80%,或是一個四口之家的年收入低於96,250元;財務受到新冠病毒打擊,在波士頓租屋居住,提出沒有收取其他租金補助,或所有資金不敷所需的證明,不是全職大專或研究所學生。

               波士頓市府在處理「租金紓困款」的申請流程時,不會詢問申請者的移民身份狀態,領取租金補助也不會影響申請者領取的其他財務援助。

               波士頓市政府在發出的新聞稿中稱,華人前進會行政主任陳玉珍表示,新冠病毒大流行對少數族裔的打擊尤其大。這筆新款項將幫助數以百計,千計的居民。非常謝謝Kim Janey市長幫助受打擊的民眾。

                      查詢相關資訊可發電郵 rental.relief@bostonhousing.org,並註明姓名,聯絡資訊,以及所居住樓宇名稱。


MAYOR JANEY ANNOUNCES $50 MILLION IN NEW RENTAL RELIEF FUNDING IS NOW AVAILABLE

 New funding will create housing stability for thousands of Boston households 

 

BOSTON - Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - Today Mayor Kim Janey announced that the City of Boston is making a record $50 million in federal funding available to help Boston renters stay stably housed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rental Relief Fund was one of the first funds in the nation created to offer financial support to residents at risk of losing their housing due to impacts from COVID-19. The new funding will enable the City of Boston to help residents pay their rent and assist in preventing evictions leading up to the federal eviction moratorium that expires on June 30. The new funding will expand the scope of the current program beyond solely paying for rent, allowing the City to assist eligible renters with utility bills, and moving costs, including the first and last month’s rent and security deposit. Approximately $3 million from this funding is being allocated to assist Boston Housing Authority (BHA) public housing tenants, with rental arrears.

“We know that many Bostonians continue to struggle to make ends meet, and need assistance with housing costs, which we have been proud to make available,” said Mayor Kim Janey. “This new infusion of funding will go above and beyond what the City has made available in the past to support renters to now include funding for utilities, moving costs within the city, and partial payments of rent. I am proud of the work we are doing with our partners, as we know it is important that we leverage every resource available to ensure the health and safety of all our residents and to keep them stably housed, and ensure an equitable recovery from the pandemic.”

Since it was established in April of 2020, the Rental Relief Fund has awarded more than $7.8 million to more than 1,860 households across the City of Boston. Funds have been distributed to support residents in every Boston neighborhood. More than 70% of individuals who have applied for financial assistance are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) households and more than 30% of applicants reported that they work or formerly worked in the hospitality industry. The hospitality industry in Boston has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with roughly half of the more than 34,000 Boston residents working in the hospitality sector claiming unemployment at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, 46% of applicants reported that their employers shut down or reduced operations and 10% experienced income loss due to childcare and school closures.  

“We look forward to continuing to provide Rental Relief Funding to families who are at risk of eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new funding from the City of Boston will ensure that residents continue to feel safe and have a roof over their heads," said Philip Giffee, Executive Director of Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH). "I am proud of the work NOAH’s great team has done assisting families in our community with eviction prevention resources and funding. Our partnership with the City of Boston during this pandemic has helped provide housing stability to hundreds of families in Boston. The City is both compassionate and equitable and we want to thank Mayor Janey and the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) and the Office of Housing Security (OHS) for making safe and stable housing a priority in our City."

The new Rental Relief Funds may be used for rental assistance for up to 12 months and can cover past, current, and prospective rent. Additionally, these funds may be used to pay for utilities, including internet service, moving costs within the City of Boston, or to supplement partial payments of rent. The City of Boston works with partner nonprofit agencies to assist tenants throughout this process, including determining eligibility, calculating the amount of assistance, and distributing payments directly to the landlord or utility provider. 

For each household, including recipients from previous application rounds, total financial assistance may not exceed more than $15,000 in a 12-month period. Anyone who has previously applied or received rental assistance in the past is encouraged to re-apply for this new funding since they may be eligible for the expanded amount of funding.

To qualify for assistance, tenants must:

·    Earn less than 80% Area Median Income (AMI) or $96,250 for a family of four, 

·    Be financially impacted by COVID-19, 

·    Be a renter in Boston, 

·    Certify they do not receive a rental subsidy or have funds to meet their needs, and 

·    Not be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student. 

"The new commitment of resources by the City is a strong statement that eviction must be avoided as a part of our response to the public health crisis,” said Steve Meacham, Organizing Coordinator for City Life. “It's especially important that these funds are available to families without documents. We look forward to working with DND on the non-payment cases this fund addresses and also on the growing numbers of no-fault cases that threaten our communities, especially communities of color."

A person's immigration status is not asked during the Rental Relief Fund application process, and receiving funds does not impact other financial assistance that a person may be already receiving. Additionally, assistance from the Rental Relief Fund does not affect immigration applications as a "public charge" ground of inadmissibility. Qualified residents interested in applying to this round of funding can submit their application here, available in 11 languages.

"This pandemic has been devastating for many Bostonians but has been particularly cruel to minority residents," said Karen Chen, Executive Director of the Chinese Progressive Association. "These new funds will help keep hundreds of residents in their homes and safe as we continue to battle both the Coronavirus and the economic challenges associated with the pandemic. We thank Mayor Janey for supporting and protecting the vulnerable residents of our community."

To ensure that the Fund is disbursed promptly, the City of Boston has continued its partnership with nonprofit partners Metro Housing | Boston, NOAH, and Project Hope to process applications received and disburse payments directly to landlords.

To further support tenants, the BHA recently announced that it has extended its moratorium for nonessential evictions for public housing residents through June 30, 2021, consistent with the federal Center for Disease Control extension. Residents of BHA properties who are interested in the Rental Relief Fund should not apply for the Rental Relief Fund via the online application, and are advised to check with their building supervisor or a property manager for more information on resources available to them, or email rental.relief@bostonhousing.org, including their name, contact information, and the building they reside in. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Housing Stability (OHS) has provided programs and services to assist both renters and landlords so they remain safely and stably housed. The OHS established the Rental Relief Fund to provide funding to landlords to pay overdue and future rent to keep Boston residents safely housed. It has established a robust court intervention program as well as landlord mediation and virtual and walk-in legal clinics to serve tenants and landlords in the City of Boston. It has continued to work with all tenants to provide wraparound housing services and supports.