Action Alert: Ask Your State Representative to Co-Sponsor CHAPA's Amendments in the State’s ARPA Fiscal Recovery Plan

On October 25th, the House Ways and Means Committee and other House leaders released a $3.65 billion plan for spending a majority of the state’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fiscal recovery funding. CHAPA thanks Chairman Michlewitz and the members of the House Ways and Means and Federal Stimulus and Racial Equity Oversight Committees for prioritizing $600 million towards affordable housing. Read more about the House's proposal on CHAPA's website.
 
This Thursday, the House will debate its spending plan (
H.4219). We are currently working to strengthen the language of our current affordable housing programs while also expanding investments for housing rehabilitation and a statewide right to counsel program. We have proposed amendments to the spending plan in order to accomplish these goals. More detail about the amendments can be found below.
 
Please call or email your State Representative today and ask them to co-sponsor the following amendments:

You can use the following script in your message to your State Representative:

Hello, I am [NAME] from [CITY or TOWN] in the Representative’s district. Housing is the single best investment Massachusetts can make to secure a healthy future for all. Substantial investments to support affordable housing production, preservation, and rehabilitation, public housing, homeownership, supportive housing, and a statewide right to counsel program are important for our recovery for the pandemic. I am requesting that the Representative support and sign on to co-sponsor the following amendments. [LIST THE AMENDMENTS BELOW]. Thank you.

#

Amendment

Sponsor

Description

594

Housing and Eviction Representation Program

Reps. Balser & Day

$78 million for housing stability & homelessness prevention to those at risk of eviction by providing legal assistance to tenants and qualified landlords

349

MA Healthy Homes Initiative

Rep. LeBoeuf

$25 million to support the rehabilitation of homes to address health and safety issues, including lead paint removal & elimination of mold and other health hazards

280

Flexible Housing Pool

Rep. Meschino

Allows funds for supportive housing to serve not only individuals experiencing chronic homelessness but also families, youth, and young adults

827

Homeownership Assistance

Rep. Vargas

Allows funds for homeownership assistance to be used for debt reduction programs, like for paying down student loans, in order to help first-time homebuyers

398

Encouraging the Preservation of Affordable Housing

Reps. Livingstone & Consalvo

Allows funds for creating affordable rental housing to also be used for preserving existing affordable housing

191

CommonWealth Builders

Rep. Holmes

Provides an additional $100 million for the CommonWealth Builders program to create more affordable homeownership opportunities

810

First-Time Homebuyer Assistance

Rep. González

Provides an additional $200 million for down payment or other assistance to help more first-time homebuyers

965

Affordable Housing Production

Rep. McGonagle

Provides an additional $100 million to build new affordable rental housing


 

#594 – Housing and Eviction Representation Program

Sponsored by Reps. Ruth Balser & Michael Day

Reps. Balser and Day’s amendment provides $78 million for housing stability and homelessness prevention to those at risk of eviction by providing legal assistance to tenants and qualified landlords to improve equity in legal representation. Providing access to an attorney during eviction cases is proven effective at securing fair and favorable outcomes, preventing homelessness, reducing trauma, and creating stronger communities.

#349 – MA Healthy Homes Initiative

Sponsored by Rep. David LeBoeuf

Rep. LeBoeuf’s amendment provides $25 million to support the rehabilitation of homes to address a wide range of health and safety issues, including lead paint removal, replacement of lead water pipes, elimination of mold and other health hazards. The Massachusetts housing stock is among the oldest in the country. These funds will help approximately 1,000 homes across the Commonwealth safe for families, children, and seniors.

#280 – Flexible Housing Pool

Sponsored by Rep. Joan Meschino

Rep. Meschino’s amendment allows funds for supportive housing to serve not only individuals experiencing chronic homelessness but also families, youth, and young adults. This language change will help even more residents access the services they need to stay in a safe, affordable home and avoid homelessness or returning to a shelter.

#827 – First Time Homeownership Assistance

Sponsored by Rep. Andy Vargas

Rep. Vargas’s amendment allows funds for homeownership assistance to be used for debt reduction programs, like for paying down student loans, in order to help first-time homebuyers. The amendment would help break down additional barriers to homeownership that can help lower mortgage interest rates and repair credit.

#398 – Encouraging the Preservation of Affordable Housing

Sponsored by Reps. Jay Livingstone & Rob Consalvo

Reps. Livingstone and Consalvo’s amendment allows funds for creating new affordable rental housing to also be used for preserving existing affordable housing. Preserving our current affordable homes is an important and cost-effective way to ensure that we do not lose any affordable housing as we build new homes.

#191 – CommonWealth Builders

Sponsored by Rep. Russell Holmes

Rep. Holmes’s amendment provides an additional $100 million for the CommonWealth Builders program to create more affordable homeownership opportunities for households with low- and moderate-incomes. This will build more homes to further reduce the racial homeownership and wealth gaps in Massachusetts.

#810 – First Time Homebuyer Assistance

Sponsored by Rep. Carlos González

Rep. González’s amendment provides an additional $200 million to expand resources for first-time homebuyers, targeting those in disproportionately impacted communities. These resources include down payment assistance, mortgage interest subsidy programs, and housing counseling.

#965 – Affordable Housing Production

Sponsored by Rep. Joe McGonagle

Rep. Holmes’s amendment provides an additional $100 million for creating new affordable rental homes in communities across Massachusetts. Together, this investment could create safe, healthy, and affordable homes for a more than 6,000 residents across the Commonwealth

 

Thank you for your advocacy and for your support of CHAPA’s priorities. If you have any questions, please contact Ryan Dominguez, CHAPA’s Policy Analyst, at 617-684-4713.