On June 24, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a $1.1 billion COVID-19 response supplemental budget for FY2020 (H.4802).
The budget directs millions in funding to critical programs to support affordable and public housing, emergency rental assistance, emergency shelter, and homelessness prevention. It also expands Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) and creates a COVID-19 response program, with expanded benefits for households impacted by the virus.
H.4802 also authorizes any unexpended funds from the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30, to continue into the next fiscal year for rental assistance programs and the family emergency shelter system. This will allow these programs do keep millions of dollars in funding. Click here for a full summary of H.4802.
Specifically, H.4802 directs:
- $13.5 million for local housing authorities (7004-9005)
- $2.5 million for family and individual shelters (7004-0101 & 7004-0102)
- $85 million for field hospitals and shelters
- $8 million for family and individual shelters (7004-0101 & 7004-0102)
- $20 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) (7004-9316) to support a COVID-19 RAFT Response (CRR) program. The CRR program:
- Allows households to receive up to $10,000 in assistance
- Directs 33% of CRR funds to extremely low-income households
- Directs 50% of funds to be prioritized to those families most likely to require family shelter services (7004-0101)
- $1.5 million for Housing Consumer Education Centers (7004-3036)
- $5.8 million for Permanent Supportive Housing (7004-0104)
- $1 million for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth (4000-0007)
- $150,000 for the Fair Housing Center of Massachusetts
H.4802 allows unexpended funds from FY2020 to carry over into FY2021 for:
- Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) (7004-9024)
- Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP) (7004-9030)
- Emergency Assistance – Family Shelters (7004-0101)
The State Senate is expected to pass the budget this week.