Leaders from the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Health and Human Services will be Hosting a Press Conference at Whittier on June 9th Regarding Increased COVID-19 Services in New England

  • June 1, 2021

HUD, HHS Speak at Local Health Center about Increasing COVID-19 Services in New England

BOSTON – On Wednesday, June 9th from 11am-11:30am, federal officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be at Whittier Street Health Center to speak about a joint agency effort to increase access to COVID-19 prevention and treatment services, including testing and vaccinations, among disproportionately affected communities, including among HUD-assisted households and people experiencing homelessness.

This national partnership between HUD & HHS was announced on May 5, and it leverages the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program, which currently provides a direct supply of vaccines to nearly 800 health centers across the country. As part of the Biden Administration’s commitment to an equitable response to COVID-19, this joint initiative encourages community health centers to establish or further expand existing partnerships with local HUD grantees and program participants, including single-family and multifamily housing owners and managers, public housing authorities, Continuums of Care, and homeless providers.

Participates will include HUD Deputy Regional Administrator Robert Forti, HHS Region 1 Acting Regional Director Paul Jacobsen, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Regional Administrator Jeffrey Beard, Whittier Health Center President & CEO Frederica Williams, Boston Housing Authority Administrator Kate Bennett, and Alice Heyward Taylor Tenant President Matilda Drayton.

The event will take place during a visit to Whittier Street Health Center, which is in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. Whittier Street is a Federally Qualified Health Center supported by HRSA.

“We are so proud of the efforts that have taken place across New England to get people vaccinated,” said Robert Forti, HUD Deputy Regional Administrator. “HUD is looking to assist in rounding out these tremendous efforts by conducting outreach to our HUD-assisted households to ensure that everyone across the region has equitable access and information to assist in making informed decisions.”

“Our nation’s health centers have played an essential role in achieving the vaccination goals President Biden has set for this country,” said HHS Region 1 Acting Regional Director Paul Jacobsen. “They have worked tirelessly and creatively to deliver more than 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, and HUD and HHS are determined to help them raise the vaccination numbers even higher.”

“We are deeply grateful for the long-standing cross-sector partnerships including our governmental agencies, public housing residents, patients and community leaders, which have helped us to proactively address health equity and the social determinants of health,” said Frederica M. Williams, President & CEO, Whittier Street Health Center. “We have been able to leverage these long-standing partnerships and the trust of our public housing patients to provide equitable access to critical services during the pandemic, including access to COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, medical screenings, behavioral health services, health education and linkage to social services.”

“Whittier Health Center’s work to give back to the community speaks volumes to who they are as an organization, and the true impacts they have on members of the Alice Taylor community,” said Matilda Drayton, Alice Heyward Taylor Tenant President. “Their work has also led to Alice Taylor being the first Boston Housing Authority location to provide on-site COVID-19 testing and vaccinations to youth and adults.”

HUD and HHS expect the effort to reach over 6,000 multifamily housing properties, 6,700 homeless shelters, and approximately 7,500 public-housing properties across the country to respond to and stop the spread of COVID-19.

For more information on the joint effort, visit:

To find a local health center, visit:

A note about Whittier and COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in our area, we ask all clients and patients to call ahead before coming to any of our sites. We are working to take care of most clients/patients via phone/video encounter so we can meet your ongoing healthcare needs. This is for your safety and so we can provide the highest quality of care to you while following CDC guidance for COVID-19. Please call 617-427-1000 for any questions or concerns.

Whittier will provide COVID-19 testing from 10 am to 4 pm on Monday to Friday. Following CDC guidance, we recommend testing if you have a fever AND one of the following three symptoms: cough OR shortness of breath OR sore throat. Please bring your picture identification and your insurance card (if you have insurance).