Late Wednesday night, the Senate adopted its proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget. While the Senate did not adopt the Housing Stability Amendment, it did pass additional protections for tenants facing eviction and made some improvements to the RAFT program to facilitate quicker access to prevention funds. More details will be provided as soon as available.
Additionally, thanks to Homes for Families for these overall budget highlights:
Both the House and Senate budgets included $135 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, a significant increase over the FY10 level of $116 million. Both the House and Senate also de-linked HomeBASE from RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition) so that families don’t face an arbitrary limit in access to the separate rental assistance programs. The House (but not the Senate) approve an increase in cash assistance grants for families receiving TAFDC, and the Senate (but not the House) approved additional data reporting for EA (including around access at the front door/application process, race/ethnicity and the HomeBASE program).
The Conference Committee will be meeting immediately to resolve the differences between the House and Senate budgets. The expectation is to get the final budget before the Governor before the Thanksgiving holiday. At that point the Governor will determine vetoes and the Legislature will have an opportunity to override them.
Please stay tuned for additional action alerts early next week.