Press Release: 2019-05-15

Ask Your State Senator to Support Affordable Housing Amendments in the Senate Budget

On May 7, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means released its $42.7 billion state budget proposal for FY2020. CHAPA thanks Senate President Karen Spilka, Senator Michael Rodrigues, Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and other members of the Ways and Means Committee for their strong investments in affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and community development programs! Read more about the budget proposal on CHAPA's website.
 
Next week, the State Senate will debate and finalize its FY2020 state budget proposal. We are currently working to strengthen critical affordable housing and homelessness prevention programs through proposed amendments to the budget.
 
Please call or email your State Senator today and ask them to co-sponsor the budget amendments below!
 
Find your State Senator’s contact information.
 
You can use this message for your call or email:
 
“Hello, I am [NAME] from [CITY or TOWN] in the Senator’s district. Programs that support affordable housing and homelessness prevention are important to our community. I am requesting that the Senator support and sign on to co-sponsor the following budget amendments. [LIST THE AMENDMENTS BELOW]. Thank you.”
 
If you have any questions, please contact Eric Shupin, CHAPA’s Director of Public Policy, at eshupin@chapa.org or (617) 682-9712.
 
CHAPA will be at the State House all next week following the budget debate. To stay updated, follow us on Twitter.
 
Find more materials on CHAPA’s priorities in the state budget on our website.
 

SENATE AMENDMENTS SUPPORTED BY CHAPA
 

#715 - Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) (7004-9024)
Sponsored by Sen. Brendan Crighton
Sen. Crighton’s amendment increases funding for MRVP to $130 million. This will create hundreds of new rental vouchers, preserve affordable housing, and help create new affordable homes. The amendment also makes two important program improvements:

  • Helps distribute vouchers faster by directing DHCD to release a distribution plan
  • Raises the admin fee to help more effectively administer the program

#831 - Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs) (7004-3036)
Sponsored by Sen. Brendan Crighton
Sen. Crighton’s amendment increases funding for HCECs to $4 million to allow regional housing agencies to serve more people looking for affordable housing resources, homebuyer and foreclosure counseling, or other housing assistance.
 
#797 - Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) (7004-9316) 
Sponsored by Sen. Patricia Jehlen
Sen. Jehlen’s amendment increases funding for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) to $27 million to support a pilot program to prevent evictions and foreclosures by offering financial assistance to low-income households who are behind on rent or mortgage payments.

#690 - HomeBASE Improvements (7004-0108)
Sponsored by Sen. Bruce Tarr
Sen. Tarr’s amendment makes important program improvements to better support families facing homelessness:

  • Allows earlier access to HomeBASE for families at imminent risk of homelessness
  • De-links RAFT and HomeBASE benefits so that households can access both these homelessness prevention resources
  • Allows families to renew their HomeBASE assistance if otherwise facing a return to homelessness 

#756 - HomeBASE & Emergency Assistance (7004-0101) 
Sponsored by Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz
Sen. Chang-Diaz’s amendment ensures that families can access Emergency Assistance shelter and resources if they can no longer afford rent and are evicted because of the loss of HomeBASE.

#767 & 857 - New Lease for Homeless Families (7004-0106) 
Sponsored by Sen. Brendan Crighton & Sen. Patrick O'Connor
Sen. Crighton’s and Sen. O’Connor’s amendments both re-establish a $250,000 line-item for New Lease for Homeless Families, which helps find homes for families living in shelters by creating a preference for these families in affordable housing developments across the state. The funding will allow New Lease to continue serving the nearly 300 families it works with to help find and maintain homes.

#774 - Home & Healthy for Good (7004-0104) 
Sponsored by Sen. Paul Feeney
Sen. Feeney’s amendment creates a $2.5 million permanent supportive housing program for people experiencing long-term homelessness who have complex medical and behavioral health needs, for the purpose of ending homelessness, promoting housing stability and reducing costly utilization of emergency and acute care. This increase would provide funding for an estimated 250 permanent supportive housing opportunities.
 
#856 - Housing Choice (NEW)
Sponsored by Sen. Patrick O'Connor
Sen. O’Connor’s amendment creates a new $5.3 million line-item to support Housing Choice communities that have demonstrated a commitment to producing new housing and adopting best practices to promote smart growth and sustainable housing development.

#845 - Get the Lead Out (NEW)
Sponsored by Sen. Julian Cyr
Sen. Cyr’s amendment creates a line-item for the Get the Lead Out Program and re-capitalizes it with $5 million. Get the Lead Out provides low- or no-interest loans to remove lead paint hazards from homes.

#3 - Community Preservation Trust Fund Fees (Outside Section)
Sponsored by Sen. Cynthia Creem
Sen. Creem’s amendment increases funding for the statewide Community Preservation Act (CPA) Trust Fund through a $30 increase in recording fees at the Registries of Deeds to provide a higher state match to all CPA communities. It is estimated that these fees will generate an additional $36 million each year for CPA communities to support affordable housing, open space preservation, and outdoor recreation.

#2 - CPA Budget Surplus Transfer (Outside Section)
Sponsored by Sen. Bruce Tarr
Sen. Tarr’s amendment would transfer $20 million from any FY2019 state budget surplus into the Community Preservation Trust Fund to provide an increased state match to CPA communities.