The budget proposal 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.
S.2789 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.
Specifically, the Senate budget proposal 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)
S.2789 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 Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a similar supplemental budget (H.4808) on June 25. The State Senate is expected to vote on its budget proposal on Thursday, July 2. After reconciling the differences between the House and Senate bill, the budget will be sent to the Governor for his signature.