Tomorrow the House will debate and vote on its American Rescue Plan Act funding bill (H.4219). So TODAY is the day to request their co-sponsorship of our Network priorities. Find your State Representative HERE and email them this (or your own adapted version, either is fine!):
Dear Rep. [insert name]:
I am writing to request that you co-sponsor the following critical Amendments to H.4219:
- #594 – Legal representation in eviction cases for low income and vulnerable tenants and owner-occupants in Massachusetts- $78 million (lead sponsors Rep. Balser and Rep. Day)
- #718 – Safe Havens program for most vulnerable residents living on the street or living “rough” with multiple severe challenges – $3 million (lead sponsor Rep. Sabadosa)
- #851 – HomeBASE reserve fund to allow for renewable household assistance in 12-month increments that will create housing stability for eligible families and children otherwise facing a return to housing instability – $10 million (lead sponsor Rep. Barber)
- #1031 – Mass ID access to allow persons experiencing homelessness to obtain Mass identification cards at no cost – $200,000 (lead sponsors Rep. O’Day and Rep. Khan)
Each of these Amendments are a reflection of the Network’s many discussions over many years across all four counties among local leaders, providers and advocates working to prevent and end homelessness in the region, and are in collaboration with our statewide partners. Their passage would provide a significant step forward in our shared quest for greater housing stability, greater housing justice and an end to the racial inequity in homelessness.
Thank you for your consideration!
your org if on behalf of your org or your address if in your personal capacity
Please take a minute and do this! It will count!
P.S. Thanks to CHAPA for this brief background and overview of what is in the House ARPA bill right now:
On October 25th, the House Ways and Means Committee and other House leaders released a $3.65 billion plan for spending a majority of the state’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fiscal recovery funding. The plan calls for $1.15 billion to come from last year’s budget surplus and the rest to be taken from the state’s ~$5 billion ARPA fiscal recovery funds allocation. This allows for ~$2.4 billion of the State’s ARPA fiscal recovery dollars to remain unspent and be obligated at a later date.
CHAPA thanks Chairman Michlewitz and the members of the House Ways and Means and Federal Stimulus and Racial Equity Oversight Committees for prioritizing $600 million towards affordable housing. Their housing investments are outlined below:
Affordable Housing Investments
The spending plan (H.4219) provides $600 million for supportive housing, public housing, homeownership, and affordable housing production. These investments will provide homeownership aid, housing production, and maintenance, with a focus on developing both affordable housing and supportive housing stock as a much-needed response to ongoing housing instability and homelessness.
A summary of the funding allocation breakdown is provided below:
- $150 million for Supportive Housing Production
- $150 million for Public Housing Maintenance
- $100 million for Homeownership Assistance to help first-time homebuyers
- $100 million for CommonWealth Builder Program to build new affordable homeownership opportunities
- $100 million for Affordable Housing Production
Please see the bill’s language for these affordable housing investments for more details on the programs.