Yesterday, the Governor filed his Fiscal Year 2023 budget proposal. The Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance offers a quick review of key housing and homelessness provisions here. For more detail, Below is a summary of housing highlights provided by the MA Department of Housing and Community Development. Stay tuned for additional analyses and responses.
MA Department of Housing and Community Development FY23 Budget Highlights:
- $80 million for the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program, a 264% increase over the FY22 GAA. This budget reflects the expansion of RAFT from a homelessness prevention tool to an eviction prevention program intended to aid households upstream of court and prevent eviction filings. The benefit limit will continue at $7,000 in a 12-month period, and we expect to serve an estimated 15,000 households.
- $56.9 million for HomeBASE, a 119% increase over the FY22 GAA. We propose to expand benefits from $10,000 in a 12-month period to $20,000 in a 24-month period, making longer, deeper financial and support services available for more families to be diverted from shelter or stabilized after exiting shelter.
- $145.1 million is projected to be available for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP),a 223% increase since the beginning of the Baker-Polito Administration. This funding will benefit over 9,000 households by (1) reducing tenant rent share from 40% to 30% of net income, aligning with state and federal public housing and Section 8, and (2) shifting to a “payment standard model” giving more choice and flexibility to households.
- $213.2 million for Emergency Assistance Family Shelters, a $16.2 million (8%) increase above FY22. This budget funds the implementation of shelter rates based on the family shelter procurement, the first procurement since the system was moved to DHCD from DTA in 2009.
- $85 million for local housing authorities, a nearly 33% increase since the start of the Baker-Polito Administration.
- $83.3 million for Homeless Individual Shelters, a $25.4 million (44%) increase above the FY22 GAA, maintaining existing levels of service and funding cost increases resulting from social distancing guidelines.
- $12.5 million for the DMH Rental Subsidy Program, a collaborative program through which DMH provides mental health services and DHCD provides rental assistance.
- $8.2 million for Housing Consumer Education Centers, a 119% increase over pre-pandemic levels (FY20), to help renters and homeowners secure and maintain stable housing.
- $5 million to continue an innovative model to create new supportive housing opportunities with wraparound services for chronically homeless individuals.
· $5 million to continue an innovative model to create new supportive housing opportunities with wraparound services for chronically homeless individuals.
These investments will complement more than $620 million in federal ARPA funds allocated to increasing the availability of quality, affordable housing, and supporting homeownership over the next five years.