On April 10, the House Committee on Ways and Means released its FY2020 state budget proposal.The proposal provides increased funding for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, the Alternative Housing Voucher Program, and Public Housing - three of CHAPA's top priorities for affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and community development resources. The budget also proposes an increase to Housing Consumer Education Centers. Most other of CHAPA's affordable housing priorities were level-funded.
The only language change made to CHAPA's budget priorities was to Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT). The House Ways and Means language directs $4,725,768 from the Housing Preservation and Stabilization Trust Fund to RAFT. This would bring the total funding in FY2020 for the program to $20,000,000.
The budget proposal also includes an increase to the surcharge on Registry of Deeds recording fees that fund the Community Preservation Act (CPA). The budget calls for a $50 recording fee, up from $20, for most documents, and $25 for municipal lien certificates, up from $10. It's estimated that those increased fees will generate an additional $36 million for the CPA Trust Fund.
Representatives have until Friday, April 12, to file amendments to the budget proposal. The House will then debate and finalize its budget proposal the week of April 22. The Senate will then debate its own state budget proposal in May.