Caritas is the largest non-profit owner and manager of affordable permanent single-room occupancy housing in Greater Boston.
At Caritas Communities, we provide very low-income individuals with permanent housing, support and a sense of community and expanded opportunities. For more than 30 years, Caritas has helped fill the need for safe, secure housing in Greater Boston.
Leo Corcoran, a partner in the real estate firm John M. Corcoran & Company, founded Caritas Communities in 1985 at a time when the number of homeless people in Greater Boston increased in record numbers. By the early 1980s, in just five years, HUD’s Low/Moderate Housing budget suffered a 77% reduction in funding. As urban renewal and development focused on the affluent, rooming houses throughout Boston’s neighborhoods disappeared. The national housing policy was turning toward shelters for the poor. Mr. Corcoran organized a Board of Directors who shared his belief that homelessness could be prevented through affordable housing. They knew that shelters were not a solution. The Board chose Single Room Occupancy (SRO) as its housing model with a focus on low- and extremely low-income working people. Conceptually, the Board felt that if Caritas were able to offer housing that was newly renovated, well managed and with affordable rent and utilities, a stable living environment could be created for people who couldn’t make a living wage and would therefore be homeless or in other unsafe housing.
Safe, Stable Housing
Caritas prides itself on providing safe, well maintained, stable housing. Each house is supervised by a live-in resident manager responsible for the well-being of the residents and the upkeep of the property. Caritas partners with several direct care agencies including Heading Home, Project Place, Pine Street Inn, AIDS Action Committee, Veterans Northeast Outreach Center and New England Center for Homeless Veterans. The Caritas model creates sustainable properties that lessen the need for homeless shelters. By running our properties on a non-profit basis and renting at below market rent ($135-$155 a week) we make it possible for our residents to have a permanent home—and to maintain dignity and stability in their lives.
Our work is supported by the generosity of local foundations, corporations and individuals and public/private partnerships with the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development and other public entities.
Our ongoing goal is to acquire, develop, renovate and manage vital low-income housing projects to prevent homelessness.