Action Alert: Ask Your State Senator to Help Strengthen Affordable Housing & Homelessness Prevention Programs in the FY21 Budget!

On November 12, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means released its state budget proposal for FY2021. CHAPA thanks Senate President Spilka, Senator Michael Rodrigues, Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and other members of the Ways and Means Committee for their strong investments in affordable housing, eviction prevention, and rental assistance programs! Read more about the budget proposal on CHAPA's website.

On November 17, the Senate will debate and finalize its FY2021 state budget proposal. We are currently working to strengthen critical affordable housing, rental assistance and eviction prevention programs through proposed amendments to the budget.

Please call or email your State Senator today and ask them to co-sponsor the budget amendments below!

Find your State Senator’s contact information.

You can use this message for your call or email:

“Hello, I am [NAME] from [CITY or TOWN] in the Senator's district. Programs that support affordable housing and homelessness prevention are important to our community. I am requesting that the Senator support and sign on to co-sponsor the following budget amendments. [LIST THE AMENDMENTS BELOW]. Thank you.”

If you have any questions, please contact Eric Shupin, CHAPA’s Director of Public Policy, at eshupin@chapa.org or (617) 682-9712.

SENATE AMENDMENTS SUPPORTED BY CHAPA

#394 - Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) (7004-9316)
Sponsored by Sen. Brendan Crighton
Sen. Crighton’s amendment simplifies the RAFT program to expedite the application and distribution process by allowing:

  • Streamlined income verification process to make application quicker to approve and to make the process less burdensome on applicants; and
  • The RAFT benefit to be used more flexibly to achieve stability for as many residents and property owners as possible.

#405 - HomeBASE (7004-0108)
Sponsored by Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz
Sen. Chang-Diaz’s amendment extends HomeBASE benefits to families timing out of the program who would otherwise face a return to homelessness and improves data collection on the program. The amendment makes important program improvements to better support families facing homelessness by allowing:

  • Families to automatically renew HomeBASE if they otherwise face a return to homelessness; and
  • De-couples HomeBASE and RAFT benefits so families can access all resources available to them to help avoid homelessness.

#374 – Public Housing Operating Subsidy (7004-9005)
Sponsored by Sen. Brendan Crighton
Sen. Crighton’s amendment increases funding for Public Housing Operating Subsidy to $80 million. Public Housing authorities will benefit from the increased funding as they face higher operating expenses during the pandemic to keep residents safe.

#376 – Foreclosure Prevention and Housing Counseling (7006-0011)
Sponsored by Sen. Jamie Eldridge
Sen. Eldridge’s amendment increases funding for Foreclosure Prevention and Homeownership Counseling to $2.85 million to ensure housing counseling resources are maintained during the time of increased demand due to COVID-19.

#398 – Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) (7004-9024)
Sponsored by Sen. Brendan Crighton
Sen. Crighton’s amendment improves MRVP by increasing the number of housing vouchers issues by directing DHCD use as much of the appropriation for the program as possible. This will mean more rental assistance will be made available for families during the pandemic.

#393 – Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) (7004-9024)
Sponsored by Sen. Jamie Eldridge
Sen. Eldridge’s amendment lowers MRVP payment standard so the tenant payment, which is currently at least 40% of a households income, drops to to 30% of the household’s monthly adjusted net income. This will help align MRVP more with federal Housing Choice Voucher program and help households struggling to make ends meet.