The window to act on this is short – by tomorrow! – but it will only take a few minutes to make a difference. Let’s join together and do this!

TOMORROW, Wed., Nov. 10, the State Senate will debate its spending plan of $3.67 billion, the majority of the state’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fiscal recovery funding. The Senate Ways and Means Committee released its proposal last week and NOW is the chance to strengthen the proposal before it comes to a final vote.

The Network’s priority amendments – in partnership with Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, CHAPA and Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance – are below.

Please contact your state senator with a quick call or email to say: please co-sponsor these amendments (copy and paste!) to achieve greater housing justice and our shared goal of preventing and ending homelessness.

The priority amendments include:

#257 – Housing and Eviction Representation Program (Sponsor: Sen. DiDomenico): to provide $12.4 million for 1 year of funding for housing and eviction representation to help low income and vulnerable households get safely through this pandemic. Last month, the US Census reported that almost 30,000 residents of the Commonwealth reported that it was very likely or somewhat likely that they would need to leave home due to an eviction in the next two months. These ARPA resources would help vulnerable tenants and owners occupants get the legal help they need to stay stably housed.

#61 – Support for Families through HomeBASE (Sponsor: Sen. Eldridge)- to create a $10 million reserve fund to allow otherwise eligible households timing out of HomeBASE to receive an additional year of HomeBASE benefits to avoid a return to homelessness.

#265 – Replenishing Depleted RAFT Funds (sponsor: Sen. Keenan) –  to create a $20 million reserve fund to ensure that the RAFT program can continue to assist eligible households with resources to prevent or end their housing instability and homelessness

#124 –  Housing Stability Community Based Organization Grant Program (Sponsor: Sen. Gomez): to create a $5 million grant program for community-based organizations to support outreach efforts about emergency resources and to assist households with applying for housing assistance.

#167 – Technological Improvements for the Emergency Assistance family shelter program  (Sponsor: Sen. Gomez): to provide $400,000 to create a streamlined online application process for the Emergency Assistance (EA) family shelter program

#65 –  Supportive Housing – to provide an additional $150 million to build new supportive housing

#76 – Affordable Rental Housing Production (Sen. Finegold): to provide an additional $75 million to build new affordable rental housing

Our Western MA delegation is deeply committed to our mission. There are 722 amendments – let’s show them the way to ours!

Thanks for your action!

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