Governor Healey Signs FY2024 Budget
Programs like the Mass. Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP), Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) and Public Housing received increased funding aligned with the Legislature's budget. Programs like Home & Healthy for Good, Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs), and Foreclosure Prevention and Counseling received lower funding than allocated by the legislature with vetoes to remove certain set-asides.
Please refer to the CHAPA Budget Priority chart for funding amounts for affordable housing (also listed at the end).
Below is the summary of some critical programs that received funding or language and/or vetoes:
- Housing Consumer Education and Counseling (HCEC) - Veto to lower the allocation.
This line item is funded lower than the Legislature's allocation of $9.7 million under the Governor's veto. The Legislature funded it at $10.4 million.
Home & Healthy for Good (HHG) - Veto to lower the allocation and change language.
The Governor's final budget funded this program at a lower amount, $6.39 million compared to $8.89 million by the Legislature. The Governor's veto also removes language that is needed for Mass. Housing and Shelter Alliance’s systems change work to advance solutions to homelessness
Foreclosure & Housing Counseling - Veto to lower the allocation and change language.
The Governor's veto removes the language of $1.5 million for the Chapter 206 grants that support foreclosure prevention and housing counseling from the Loan Originator Administration and Consumer Counseling Program line item. The Governor's budget funds this line item at $1.55 million without any funding for Chap 206 grants, while the Legislature funded it at $3.05 million with the inclusion of $1.5 million for Chapter 206 grants.
Below are the programs are included in the Governor's final budget without a veto (aligned with the Legislature's budget)
- Mass. Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) - MRVP is funded at $179 million along with language to:
- Establish a payment standard aligned with Section 8 up to 110% Fair Market Rent or Small Area Fair Market rent
- Allows use of a higher payment standard as a reasonable accommodation or otherwise at the discretion of the executive office
- Cap the tenant rent share to 30% of their income towards rent when using the payment standard
- Allows a tenant to choose a unit with rent above the payment standard, while also allowing the tenant rent share beyond 40%
- Carry forward the unspent funds from FY23 bringing the MRVP total allocation at ~$200 million.
- Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP) - AHVP is funded at $16 million along with language to:
- Allow project-basing of AHVP vouchers, similar to MRVP
- Allow AHVP maximum rents use up to 110% of the Small Area Fair Market Rent
- Carry forward the unspent funds from FY23 bringing the AHVP total allocation at ~$26 million.
Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) - The Governor funds RAFT at $190 million. The Legislature also establishes a $7,000 cap for RAFT benefit over a 12-month period.
Public Housing - The Governor's final budget allocates $107 million in funding for the Public Housing Operating line item. It also adds language to exempt Local housing authorities and non-profits from any funding cuts through the Local Capital Projects Fund (LCPF) if the communities they are based in are not compliant with section 3A of the MBTA Multifamily zoning law.
HomeBASE - The Governor's final budget allocates $37 million for HomeBASE. The language increases the benefit amount to $30,000 over a 2-year period and allows EOHLC the discretion for an additional $15,000 benefit for another 12-month period for stabilizing a household.
Chapter 257 - The Governor's final budget includes the Chapter 257 protections for pausing evictions in cases of non-payment of rent if the tenants had an ongoing RAFT application.
CHAPA thanks Governor Healey and the Legislature for increased investments in affordable housing priorities. The Legislature can override the vetoes with a 2/3rd majority vote and has until November 15th, 2023 to override.