On April 14, 2021, the House Committee on Ways and Means released its FY2022 state budget proposal. The proposal provides increased funding for many of CHAPA's affordable housing budget priorities, including for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, the Alternative Housing Voucher Program, Public Housing, Housing Consumer Education Centers, the Tenancy Preservation Program, and DMH rental subsidies.
House Ways and Means Chair Michlewitz highlighted affordable housing programs in his budget letter, writing:
"In FY21, one of the main funding priorities of the House was in the area of housing and homelessness. That budget funded programs like the Rental Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) and Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) at historically high levels. As we move into the FY22 budget, we plan to continue to prioritize these needs and build on previous investments to support individuals, families, and youth. In tandem with an anticipated $800 million in Federal rental assistance funds, this budget will create hundreds of new vouchers that will be utilized to keep at risk families in their homes, particularly important during COVID. Other housing programs and homeless shelters for both individuals and families will also see significant investments."
CHAPA's full language analysis of our budget priorities also includes a description of changes made to the program language. For RAFT, these changes include making the $10,000 benefit cap extend beyond the COVID-19 emergency and allowing households to access the maximum benefits for both RAFT and HomeBASE, if eligible.
Representatives have until Friday, April 16, to file amendments to the budget proposal. The House will then debate and finalize its budget proposal the week of April 26. Please stay tuned for action alerts on how you can take action to help make the strongest possible budget for affordable housing, community development, and homelessness prevention!
The Senate will then debate its state budget proposal in May.