Join Springfield No One Leaves and the Homes for All MA Coalition at an action TOMORROW:
Tuesday, April 12
Court Square, Springfield
to demand the state make housing stability a priority. Specific demands include: protecting the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) instead of shutting it down on April 15; fixing the Homeowners’ Assistance Fund (HAF) to include utility + property tax assistance and legal representation for people who are post-foreclosure; and favorably reporting critical housing justice bills before the May 9 deadline. Contact: email@example.com with questions.
Earlier that same day in Boston at 12:30 pm, community leaders, tenants, and advocates will hold a press conference in front of the State House to challenge the Baker Administration’s dangerous decision to prematurely close access to the federally funded Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The press conference is organized by Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Massachusetts Public Health Association, Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, and Homes for All Massachusetts. The organizations warn of devastating consequences for thousands of families and individuals across the Commonwealth who are facing severe housing instability if the state moves forward with the planned April 15th end date for ERAP applications.
“The disastrous impacts of the April 15 cutbacks could be averted if the Governor and State Legislature act quickly,” the organizations said in a joint statement. “We call on the Baker Administration to keep the ERAP application process open. We call on the Legislature to immediately replenish ERAP funds and expand access to the state-funded Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) homelessness prevention program. We must act now to ensure an equitable and safe recovery for Massachusetts residents.”
Advocates note that Massachusetts could allocate needed funds for ERAP and related homelessness prevention initiatives by drawing down a portion of the approximately $2.3 billion available in unspent American Rescue Plan Act funds (ARPA), $4.6 billion in the state’s rainy day fund, and an estimated $650 million in remaining FY22 surplus funds. Pandemic impacts are not over in hard hit communities.