On Friday, December 11, 2020, Gov. Charlie Baker signed the $45.9 billion state budget for the remainder of the state's fiscal year 2021 (FY2021). For each of CHAPA's priorities, the budget contains the increased appropriation amount from the previous year's budget. Summary of CHAPA Budget Priorities.
The final budget signed by the Governor maintains the higher appropriations for CHAPA's priorities, including RAFT, MRVP, HomeBASE, and public housing. The Governor struck language for arrearage pilot under RAFT and certain reporting requirements in HomeBASE.
The Governor also amended outside sections that would delay eviction proceedings if there is a pending application for emergency rental assistance; require that tenants are notified of any available housing assistance before an eviction; and establish data reporting requirements and a task force on the Governor's Eviction Diversion Initiative. Governor's amendment letter for the housing related outside sections.
CHAPA thanks Governor Baker for maintaining the increased allocations for affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and community development programs in the FY2021 budget.
Below is an overview of CHAPA priorities in the budget signed by the Governor.
Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) (7004-9024)
The FY2021 final budget allocated close to $135 million for MRVP. This includes $9.4 million unspent funds from FY2020.
Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP) (7004-9030)
The FY2021 final budget allocated $12.5 million for AHVP. This includes rollover of $1.9 million unspent funds in the total appropriations.
Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) (7004-9316)
The FY2021 final budget allocated $54.7 million for RAFT, including $4.7 million from the Housing Preservation and Stabilization Fund.
Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs) (7004-3036)
The FY2021 final budget appropriated $4.75 million. The higher appropriation will provide HCECs with much needed funding to hire more staff and reduce the processing time for RAFT applications to get households the timely assistance they need.
The FY2021 final budget appropriated $29 million.
Public Housing Operating Subsidy (7004-9005)
The Public Housing Operating Subsidy received a significant increase in the FY2021 final budget with $80 million allocation.
Foreclosure Prevention & Housing Counseling (7006-0011)
The FY2021 final budget appropriated $2.85 million. The additional funding can support much needed foreclosure prevention tools, such as direct advocacy and counseling as the housing crisis unfolds during the pandemic.
Tenancy Preservation Program (TPP) (7004-3045)
The FY2021 final budget appropriated $1.5 million. Ensuring adequate funding for this program is critical to prevent evictions as the state and federal moratorium on evictions end.
Home and Healthy for Good (7004-0104)
The FY2021 final budget allocated $3.39 million for this line item that helps households and individuals facing homelessness.