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Posted on: November 17, 2021

Portland Housing Authority Mobilizes Emergency Housing Voucher Program

PORTLAND, Maine (November 3, 2021) – The Portland Housing Authority (PHA) is mobilizing resources to administer twenty-one newly received federal Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHV) to assist individuals and families in Portland who are homeless or at risk of homelessness; fleeing or attempting to flee violence, stalking or human trafficking; or who were recently homeless or have a high risk of housing instability.

The Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program is available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Through EHV, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development is providing 70,000 Emergency Housing Vouchers to local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs). Portland is one of several public housing authorities in Maine partnering with Maine State Housing Authority (MSHA) and the Maine Continuum of Care (MCoC) to coordinate services for every household referred for EHVs through MCoC partnering services providers.

Joining the Portland Housing Authority as full-time Emergency Housing Voucher Coordinator is Mallyss Day, effective mid-November 2021. As EHV Coordinator, Day is responsible for ensuring the expedited and successful utilization of Portland’s EHV allocation by working with and advocating for primarily homeless and at-risk individuals and families through the voucher application, housing search, and lease-up processes. Day will also provide clients with targeted case management support services for one year after they have secured housing, following the Housing First model.

Day brings more than 20 years of experience in the social services field advocating and providing a voice for the most vulnerable populations, having started her career in direct support services and worked her way up to case management. Day holds a bachelor’s degree adult mental health rehabilitation and addiction counseling and a master’s degree in social work. 

Prior to joining the Portland Housing Authority, Day worked with MAS Community Health for six years as a case manager, specializing in homeless case management and assisting people experiencing serious mental health challenges.  

The Portland Housing Authority is modeling the EHV Program, in part, on its successful Foster Youth to Independence program, which assists young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 who have been part of the foster care system and are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless. FYI is administered by the Portland Housing Authority (PHA) in collaboration with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and youth services providers. FYI works with eligible youth to identify, secure, and maintain housing while also participating in a variety of services around education, job training, and financial goals.

“Building on our lessons learned from our successful Foster Youth to Independence program, PHA is hoping to replicate that success with the Emergency Housing Vouchers. This model provides a skilled PHA staff who focuses on the participant’s ability to not only fully utilize the voucher but help them navigate the challenges of remaining stably housed,” said Leah Bruns, Director of Voucher Programs for the Portland Housing Authority.

For questions regarding the EHV program at PHA, contact Leah Bruns at / (207) 221-8006. For more information about Portland Housing Authority assistance programs, visit or call (207) 773-4753.

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