Last week, the MA House passed a $3.82 billion spending plan (H 4219) comprised of a majority of the state’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Fiscal Recovery funds and fiscal 2021 surplus revenue to help address the Commonwealth’s recovery from the pandemic. This is the first phase of spending of the $5 billion ARPA state fiscal recovery funds, with approximately $2 billion to be obligated at a later date.
The House spending plan includes $600 million towards housing, including the following:

$150M for public housing maintenance
$150M to create permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals, survivors of domestic violence, seniors, and veterans
$100M for homeownership assistance
$100M for production and preservation of affordable rental housing for residents of municipalities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

Next, the Senate Ways and Means Committee will release its budget any day now. We are hoping it will include a version of legal protection against eviction (a version of “Right to Counsel”), totaling $78 million over 3 years. If it doesn’t, we will have a chance to advocate for amendments before the full Senate votes, so please stay tuned!

Meanwhile, BIG THANKS to our Western MA Representatives for their strong support of housing funds to prevent and end homelessness in our region and across the Commonwealth.

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