Yesterday, the House and Senate voted to adopt the Conference Committee’s proposed FY20 budget. A resounding THANK YOU to our fabulous Western MA delegation for their leadership in making this budget possible. It contains significant steps forward in our mission to prevent and end homelessness, including many Network priorities:
- Mass Rental Voucher Program: an increase to $110 million (plus $6 million carryover from FY19), and adoption of language that allows monthly rent levels to match current fair market rents for subsidies issued after August 1, 2019
- RAFT: an increase to $21 million, which will include a pilot program to help households further upstream, prior to facing eviction
- Youth and Young Adult Homelessness: an increase to $5 million ($1.7 million above FY19) to support housing and wrap-around services for unaccompanied youth and young adults experiencing homelessness
- Secure Jobs Initiative: an increase to $2 million for this workforce development program for families and individuals at risk of or experiencing homelessness
- Regional Transit Authorities: an increase to $90.5 million in funding for transit authorities, a meaningful step forward (with so much more to go)
- Adult Base Education/ESOL: an increase to $41 million for this critical resource to support a path towards economic stability for people experiencing homelessness
On a regional level, our legislators also secured two earmarks specific to homelessness:
- $125,000 for winter overflow shelter in Berkshire County
- $75,000 for the Network itself (special thanks to Senator Jo Comerford for making that possible!)
Click here for a breakdown of additional Network priorities and funding comparisons.
Now our attention turns to the Governor’s office. Please reach out to urge Governor Baker to support these priorities and this budget as a whole. You can do so by going here: https://www.mass.gov/orgs/governors-office-of-constituent-services
To learn more about housing and homelessness priorities, also see Mass Coalition for the Homeless’ budget update here.
Thank you for your partnership!