Governor Baker Appoints Linn Torto to Spearhead Homelessness Efforts

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today announced the appointment of Linn Torto as the Executive Director of the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness (ICHH), spearheading the administration’s efforts to end homelessness through the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS),  Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) and respective agencies. A veteran of state government, Torto brings extensive public and private sector experience in housing and policy development.

“I’m excited that Linn will be bringing her experience back to assisting the Commonwealth and our administration in addressing the tragic impacts of family homelessness and reducing the use of motels and hotels to house those in need,” said Governor Baker. “As we work to help families find or stay in permanent housing situations, Linn’s success and determination under prior administrations will bring a renewed focus on strategic policy reforms and coordination among various state agencies and stakeholders.”

As Executive Director of the ICHH, Torto will coordinate a comprehensive, local rapid response system aimed at preserving access to stable housing, preventing and reducing homelessness and sustaining the emergency shelter safety net. The Baker-Polito Administration has made ending family homelessness a priority as it moves forward with reforms to reach families before they need to enter the emergency shelter system and reduce the number of homeless families living in hotels and motels. Preventative services include access to affordable housing, case management, job training, education and childcare.

“As the chief architect of many of the housing policies that are still being utilized today, Linn has a commitment and passion for helping others and is a strong advocate for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness,” said Marylou Sudders, Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. “Linn has the ability to work within both the public and private sector to create partnerships, implement policies and develop housing for vulnerable populations.”

“I am pleased to welcome Ms. Torto to the important position as the Executive Director of the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “We look forward to working with her as she works to address the multifaceted nature of homelessness throughout the Commonwealth.”

“Under Governor Baker and with the leadership of Secretaries Sudders and Ash, the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness will provide the forum for an unprecedented level of collaboration and cooperation across all agencies who have a role in addressing the tragedy of homelessness in the Commonwealth,” said Torto. “Both families and individuals facing homelessness should be engaged in a family and person centered response to meet the goal of preserving and enhancing access to stable housing and furthering aspirations of good health and self-sufficiency.”

The ICHH is charged with working to address both family and individual homeless populations as well as reviewing existing programs and recommending improvements to ensure that programs aimed at preventing and addressing homelessness are provided in the most efficient, productive manner; creating a strategic plan to end homelessness and increasing access to affordable housing; develop and administer plans to address homeless veterans and older adults and oversee and support the implementation of the End Family Homelessness Fund at EOHHS.

About Linn Torto:

Linn Torto began her new role on October 1st after serving as a consultant to the Department of Developmental Services of Metro-Boston and Charles River West area offices, Department of Veterans Services and Department of Housing and Community Development since 2010. Torto spent eight years prior serving as the Director for Facilities Planning and Financing for the Department of Developmental Services in the Patrick, Romney and Swift administrations. Torto also served as an Assistant Secretary in the Executive Office for Administration and Finance from 2000 to 2002 and spent six years as the Assistant Secretary for Residential Services in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services in the Weld administration, including two years with then-Secretary, Governor Baker. Torto was also a Special Assistant to the Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s New England Region and served the City of Boston and in the private sector.

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