On November 12, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means (SWM) released its state budget proposal for the 2021 fiscal year (FY2021).
The SWM budget proposes a total of $45.9 billion in spending, a $2.4 billion increase over the FY2020 and $36 million lesser than House Ways & Means (HWM) Budget proposal. The SWM proposal mirrors most of the allocations of HWM budget and boosts spending by 5.5 percent. It proposes to draw $1.5 billion from the state's "rainy day" fund, $1.38 billion in available federal supports, and more than $400 million in new revenue initiatives.
The SWM budget proposes several critical increases in funding for affordable housing and homelessness prevention programs. These investments include $50 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), $135 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), and over $10 million for Alternative Housing Voucher Program. The outside section in the budget requires landlords to send Notice to Quit to be accompanied by a from with info about available resources for tenants.
CHAPA sincerely thanks Senate President Karen Spilka, Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael Rodrigues, and members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee for ensuring resources for affordable housing programs during the ongoing pandemic!
The Senate will debate its budget proposal next week while the House is currently debating the HWM proposal. CHAPA is working now with Senators to draft and file budget amendments that are due on Friday, November 13, by 10:00 p.m. Stay tuned for more information on the amendments. We will need your help reaching out to ask legislators to co-sponsor and support amendments. Please stay tuned for Action Alerts from CHAPA to help support affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and community development resources in the state budget!
The final budget is expected to be sent to the Governor by the end of November.