MA House Finalizes ARPA Spending Plan Proposal with $600 Million for Affordable Housing

On October 26, 2021, the Massachusetts House of Representatives finalized its $3.82 billion plan for spending a majority of the state’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fiscal recovery funding. The plan calls for $1.15 billion to come from last year’s budget surplus and the rest to be taken from the state’s ~$5 billion ARPA fiscal recovery funds allocation. This allows for ~$2.4 billion of the State’s ARPA fiscal recovery dollars to remain unspent and be obligated at a later date.

CHAPA thanks Speaker Mariano, House Ways and Means Chair Michlewitz, Housing Committee Chair Arciero, and the all the members of the House for prioritizing $600 million towards affordable housing. Their housing investments are outlined below:

Affordable Housing Investments

The final House spending plan (H.4234) provides $600 million for supportive housing, public housing, homeownership, and affordable housing production and preservation. These investments will provide homeownership aid, housing production, and maintenance, with a focus on developing both affordable housing and supportive housing stock as a much-needed response to ongoing housing instability and homelessness.

A summary of the funding allocation breakdown is provided below:

  • $150 million for Supportive Housing Production
  • $150 million for Public Housing Maintenance
  • $100 million for Homeownership Assistance to help first-time homebuyers
  • $100 million for CommonWealth Builder Program to build new affordable homeownership opportunities
  • $100 million for Affordable Housing Production & Preservation

During the debate of the bill, the House adopted two CHAPA priority amendments that made language changes. The first language change allows funds for creating new affordable rental housing to also be used for preserving existing affordable housing. The second language change allows funds for supportive housing to serve not only individuals experiencing chronic homelessness but also families, youth, and young adults.

Please see the bill’s language for these affordable housing investments for more details on the programs.

CHAPA thanks all the House members who sponsored and co-sponsored our priority amendments.   

Unfortunately, several of our priority amendments were not adopted, including funding for a statewide legal assistance program to help residents with low-incomes facing eviction.

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means is expected to release its ARPA spending plan sometime during the week of November 1, followed by the Senate's debate on the bill. 

The Legislature hopes to send a final ARPA spending bill to the Governor by the Thanksgiving recess, starting November 17.

CHAPA encourages our partners to continue to contact their State Senators and ask them to prioritize CHAPA’s $1.683 billion ARPA priorities for affordable housing. Please see the CHAPA ARPA Advocacy Toolkit for more details.