The Municipal Housing Authority for the
City of Yonkers has launched a partnership with T-Mobile to provide families
and students in public housing with free tablets and access to T-Mobile’s
high-speed 4G LTE network. Tablets were handed out to 307 families of the
Calcagno Homes and Loehr Court apartments at a kickoff event where residents
received introductory training on how to use the new technology. The two sites
were selected to participate in a Pilot Demonstration Program that could
eventually expand to incorporate all 2,000 residents.
Each Alcatel 3T tablet comes preloaded
with links connecting users to helpful services and organizations including the
National Domestic Violence Hot Line; Safe Horizon; MHACY; Family Services of
Yonkers; Yonkers Public Library; Access-A-Ride; Westchester County services;
City of Yonkers services; Social Security; Medicare; and Westchester County
Senior Services. The tablets also include Duolingo, a language learning app.
MHACY and T-Mobile are participating in
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s ConnectHomeUSA
initiative to close the digital divide in America and to extend free 4G LTE
Wi-Fi hotspots and provide tablets to families living in HUD-assisted housing.
Through ConnectHomeUSA, internet service providers, non-profits and the private
sector are offering broadband access, technical training, digital literacy
programs, and devices for residents in assisted housing units.
ConnectHomeUSA creates a platform to help
ensure that students have access to high-speed internet for studying and doing
their homework at home, as well as in school.
“Congratulations to MHACY and T-Mobile on
this exciting public-private partnership that provides high-speed internet
access to some members of our underserved community,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike
Spano. “Closing the digital divide with programs like this enables and engages
our residents to be more connected at no cost or burden to them. Great job by
“We are delighted to partner with T-Mobile
in this exciting new program that breaks down the barriers to internet access
for our residents,” added MHACY Executive Director Joseph Shuldiner. “Having
access to the internet is critical in today’s digital age. This program allows
our residents to connect to resources right in their home without incurring any
financial cost. We thank the board of the Mulford Corporation for making all
this possible by generously donating the funding to provide two years of
internet access for the residents, as well as T-Mobile for making this dream a
Dave Bezzant, senior director of T-Mobile
for Government, said T-Mobile is committed to bridging the digital divide
through programs like ConnectHomeUSA and EmpowerED – providing both devices and
hi-speed Wi-Fi to the residents of public housing and students who need it most.
“Bringing connectivity into the home can
provide greater access to job applications, online bill paying, research,
homework and more,” he said. “T-Mobile believes everyone deserves access to the
tools they need to be successful in today’s fast-paced world.”
“Now, more than ever, we rely on
technology and the internet for so much, from doing homework and paying bills,
to making doctors’ appointments and participating in our democracy,” added Senate
Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “For many of us, access to a reliable
broadband connection is a given, but for others, going online is not easy. That
is why I commend the Municipal Housing Authority of Yonkers and T-Mobile for
teaming up to help close the digital divide. The partnership will provide
families and students in public housing with free tablets and access to
high-speed internet, helping to break down barriers and expand opportunities
For more information, visit www.mhacy.org.