Thanks to Eric Shupin, CHAPA’s Director of Public Policy, for this hot-off-the-presses FY21 Budget Update to the Building Blocks Coalition:
Yesterday evening, the conference committee released the FY2021 conference budget. For each of our priorities, the budget contains the higher appropriation amount from the versions passed by the House or Senate! Click here for an overview of an overview of our priorities in the conference budget.
The conference budget makes language changes to some of our priorities, including RAFT, HomeBASE, and MRVP. Notably, the budget language directs DHCD to use a short, simple application for RAFT and de-couples RAFT and HomeBASE benefits during the COVID-19 emergency declaration.
The budget also includes several housing-related outside sections on:
- Revised notices to quit for COVID-related evictions;
- Delaying eviction cases if there is a pending application for emergency rental assistance;
- Reporting requirements for the Eviction Diversion Initiative; and
- The creation of a task force to make recommendation on how to improve the Eviction Diversion Initiative.
Click here for a detailed language analysis of our priorities in the FY2021 conference budget as well as on housing-related outside sections.
Although not included in our priorities, the budget also includes a new line-item (7004-1010) with $5 million for a down payment assistance program as well as $2.5 million for capital grants to improve or create accessible affordable housing for persons with disabilities (7004-9031).
Once the House and Senate vote to accept the conference budget, it will be sent to the Governor. He will have 10 days to sign the budget or send it back to the Legislature with vetoes or other recommendations. Please call or email the Governor asking him to support all our affordable housing, homelessness prevention, or community development priorities in the final budget. CHAPA is currently drafting our letter to Governor Baker right now. We will share it when it is completed.
Also, if you can, please contact Ways & Means Chairs Rep. Michlewitz and Sen. Rodrigues to thank them for supporting our priorities in the conference budget.
Thank you for everyone’s hard work throughout this very unusual budget process. Based on the outcomes in the conference budget, our advocacy has made a real difference!