Statement from CHAPA CEO, Rachel Heller, on Final FY2020 House Budget

Boston - Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted to approve its final budget proposal for fiscal year 2020. Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) thanks the House of Representatives for recognizing the urgent need to expand investments in affordable housing, which help families thrive and build vibrant communities.

The House budget provides increased support for resources that will help address the needs of people with the lowest incomes through additional housing vouchers and desperately needed funding to support housing authorities and their residents.

The House budget invests $10 million more in the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) and gives Public Housing a 10% increase in funding, the first significant increase for housing authority operating subsidies in a decade. The House budget also provides more than a 20% increase in funding for the Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP), which will help create many new rental vouchers for persons with disabilities find an affordable, accessible home.

Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs), the regional housing non-profit agencies that administer affordable housing programs and education courses to every community in Massachusetts, received $750,000 in additional funding. This will allow these agencies to serve even more families and individuals searching for affordable homes.

The House budget also increases funding for the statewide Community Preservation Act (CPA) Trust Fund, calling for a $30 increase in recording fees at the State’s Registries of Deeds to provide a higher state match to all CPA communities. The Community Preservation Coalition estimates that these fees will generate an additional $36 million each year for CPA communities to support affordable housing, open space preservation, and outdoor recreation.

At a time when the affordable housing crisis in Massachusetts continues to reach new heights, leaving more families at risk of becoming homeless, CHAPA thanks the House of Representatives for making its commitment to solving this crisis clear through investments in affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and community development programs.

CHAPA thanks Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, and Representative Kevin Honan, Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing, for their leadership on this budget. CHAPA thanks all of the Representatives who sponsored and co-sponsored amendments for affordable housing programs as well.

Finally, thanks to the thousands of tireless and effective advocates and organizations for raising their voice in support of affordable housing by contacting their legislators.

While there is much left to be done, we look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature and the Administration to help everyone in the Commonwealth have a safe, healthy, and affordable place to call home.

For more information on CHAPA's budget priorities, please click here.