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House Ways and Means Releases FY2018 Budget Proposal - April 10, 2017
Submitted by admin on Tue, 04/11/2017 - 12:21am
On April 10th, the House Committee on Ways and Means (HWM) released its FY2018 state budget proposal. The $40.33 billion budget includes targeted increased investments for permanent affordable housing solutions, including the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), the Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP), and Public Housing.
In a letter filed with the budget proposal, Representative Brian Dempsey, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee wrote:
"The Committee’s budget builds on previous investments in housing programs with over $18 million in new funding. Notably, we propose a $15 million increase to the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP). This increase will allow for up to 343 additional vouchers. The proposed budget also increases the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program by $2 million and adds $1 million to programs assisting homeless individuals. These combined investments will help to continue a downward trend in caseloads for emergency shelters across the state."
CHAPA thanks Chairman Dempsey and other members of the HWM Committee for their commitment to these affordable housing and homelessness prevention resources.
Other budget highlights include:
- MRVP - $100 million, including eligibility language addressing cliff effects
- AHVP - $250,000 more for the program to provide rental assistance for persons with disabilities
- Public Housing - $1 million more to support local housing authorities
- RAFT - $2 million more for this transitional assistance. However, HWM removed the expanded eligibility included last year to serve elders, persons with disabilities, and unaccompanied youth
Unfortunately, several of our priorities face cuts in the HWM budget, including:
- HomeBASE - $800,000 decrease from last year
- Foreclosure Prevention Counseling - $700,000 decrease from the previous year
- Unaccompanied Homeless Youths - no funding for the program in FY18
Amendments to the HWM budget are due by the close of business on Thursday, April 13th. CHAPA will be asking you to reach out to your legislators to co-sponsor amendments to support our affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and community development priorities. The House will then debate the budget and vote on its final budget proposal during the week of April 24th.