On July 31st, Governor Baker signed the $43.3 billion state budget for fiscal year 2020. Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) sincerely thanks Governor Baker for recognizing the urgent need to expand investments in affordable housing, which help families thrive and build vibrant communities.
The Governor did not veto or propose amendments to any of our affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and community development priorities. For information on the final budget signed by the Governor, please click here.
By signing the budget, the Governor maintained the increased spending levels included in the Legislature's budget for almost all of CHAPA's budget priorities! For a table showing the final funding amounts for budget priorities, click here.
The budget provides $116 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), including a $6 million appropriation carried over from FY2019 funding. The budget includes a critical program improvement to raise the rent standards for new vouchers to current fair market rents, which were last updated in 2005. This will make the rental vouchers more effective for families looking for an affordable home.
The budget provides $8 million in funding for the Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP). This will help create nearly 200 new vouchers for persons with disabilities find an affordable, accessible home.
The budget also gives a 10% increase in funding for Public Housing, the first significant increase in funding for housing authorities in a decade that will help better support over 45,000 households living in state-assisted public housing in Massachusetts.
Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs), the regional housing non-profit agencies that administer affordable housing programs and education courses to every community in Massachusetts, received $750,000 in additional funding. The increased resources will allow the agencies to serve even more families and individuals searching for affordable homes.
The budget provides an $800,000 increase for homebuyer education and foreclosure counseling programs to promote and protect homeowners.
The budget also expands critical homelessness prevention programs like Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) through increased allocation $1 million to serve more low-income households facing housing instability. The budget also creates a new $500,000 program within RAFT to provide housing assistance to survivors of domestic violence.
The budget expands the Home and Healthy for Good program with $500,000 in increased allocation to create a statewide supportive housing pilot program for chronically homeless individuals.
Finally, the budget provides $5 million for housing and services for unaccompanied homeless youth and young adults.
The final state budget increases funding for the statewide Community Preservation Act (CPA) Trust Fund through increased recording at the State’s Registries of Deeds. This will provide a higher state match to CPA communities, generating an estimated $36 million more each year to support affordable housing, open space preservation, and outdoor recreation.
Thanks to Governor Baker and his Administration for supporting critical housing resources that help so many in Massachusetts find a safe, healthy, and affordable housing. Thanks also to Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Spilka, Rep. Michlewitz, and Sen. Rodrigues for their leadership on the budget.