Ask Your State Representative to Support Affordable Housing Amendments in House Budget!

On April 10, the House Committee on Ways and Means released its $42.7 billion budget proposal for FY2020. CHAPA thanks Speaker DeLeo, Representative Michlewitz, Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, and other members of the Ways and Means Committee for their strong investments in affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and community development programs! Read more about the budget proposal on CHAPA's website.
 
Next week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives will debate and finalize its FY2020 State Budget proposal. We are currently working to strengthen critical affordable housing and homelessness prevention programs through proposed amendments to the budget!
 
Please call or email your State Representative today to ask her or him to sign-on to co-sponsor the following budget amendments!
 
Find your State Representative’s contact information.
 
You can use this message for your call or email:
 
“Hello, I am [NAME] from [CITY or TOWN] in the Representative’s district. Programs that support affordable housing and homelessness prevention are important to our community. I am requesting that the Representative 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.
 
CHAPA will be at the State House all next week following the budget debate. To stay updated, follow us on Twitter.
 
Find more materials on CHAPA’s priorities in the state budget on our website.


AMENDMENTS SUPPORTED BY CHAPA
 

#652 - Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) (7004-9024)
Sponsored by Rep. Paul Donato
Rep. Donato’s amendment increases funding for MRVP to $130 million. This will create hundreds of new rental vouchers, preserve affordable housing, and help create new affordable homes.
 
#859 - MRVP Improvements (7004-9024)
Sponsored by Rep. Joseph McGonagle
Rep. McGonagle’s amendment makes important program improvements to MRVP:

  • Makes MRVP more usable by increasing voucher rent caps to current fair market rent standards
  • Helps distribute vouchers faster by directing DHCD to release a distribution plan
  • Targets new vouchers to the lowest-income households
  • Raises the admin fee to help more effectively administer the program
  • Allows any unspent MRVP funds to automatically be available for the program the next year

#1159 - Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP) (7004-9030)
Sponsored by Rep. Marjorie Decker
Rep. Decker’s amendment increases funding for AHVP to $8 million to provide additional rental vouchers for low-income households with persons with disabilities.
 
#40 - Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs) (7004-3036)
Sponsored by Rep. Kevin Honan
Rep. Honan’s amendment increases funding for HCECs to $4 million to allow regional housing agencies to serve more people looking for affordable housing resources, homebuyer and foreclosure counseling, or other housing assistance.
 
#1127 - Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) (7004-9316) 
Sponsored by Rep. Marjorie Decker
Rep. Decker’s amendment increases RAFT funding to $27 million to support a $7 million pilot program to prevent evictions and foreclosures by offering financial assistance to low-income households who are behind on rent or mortgage payments.
 
#699 - HomeBASE Improvements (7004-0108)
Sponsored by Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante
Rep. Ferrante’s amendment makes important program improvements to better support families facing homelessness:

  • Allows earlier access to HomeBASE for families at imminent risk of homelessness
  • De-links RAFT and HomeBASE benefits so that households can access both these homelessness prevention resources
  • Allows families to renew their HomeBASE assistance if otherwise facing a return to homelessness 

#1010 - Emergency Assistance & HomeBASE (7004-0101)
Sponsored by Rep. Andy Vargas
Rep. Vargas’s amendment ensures that families can access Emergency Assistance shelter and resources if they can no longer afford rent and are evicted because of the loss of HomeBASE.
 
#883 - Unaccompanied Homeless Youths (4000-0007)
Sponsored by Rep. Jim O’Day
Rep. O’Day’s amendment increases funding to $5 million for housing and services for unaccompanied homeless youth.
 
#1215 - Housing Choice (NEW)
Sponsored by Rep. Joseph McGonagle
Rep. McGonagle’s amendment creates a new $5.3 million line-item to support Housing Choice communities that have demonstrated a commitment to producing new housing and adopting best practices to promote smart growth and sustainable housing development.
 
#1129 - Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) (Outside Section)
Sponsored by Rep. Marjorie Decker
Rep. Decker’s amendment increases the state EITC to 50% of the federal EITC value. The state EITC is an effective tax credit for low-income households that increases economic mobility, reduces inequality, rewards work, and improves health.