As we shared in our previous blog post, the House Ways and Means Committee released its Fiscal Year 2024 Budget proposal last week. You can read here the broad strokes on key housing and homelessness investments – and the great step to make permanent a key protection against eviction.

This week begins our chance to build on the progress in this proposed budget through key amendments that would make it better.

Please take a minute to email or call your State Representative (find name and contact info here) and feel free to copy and paste (or adapt as inclined) these asks below:

Dear Representative [insert name]:

As a partner of the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness, I am writing to request your co-sponsorship of the following critical amendments to address our region’s housing and homelessness crisis:

  • #252 – Western MA Network to End Homelessness (Rep. Sabadosa) for $100,000 to support the Network’s continuing coordinating work to prevent and end homelessness in the region
  • #375 – Safe Havens Program (Rep. Sabadosa) for $3.5 million to provide 7 new sites for low-threshold, supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals with multiple disabilities, including a western MA site
  • #1219 – Prevent Seniors from Experiencing Homelessness (Rep. Uyterhoeven) for $10 million to create bridge subsidies for up to 1,000 older adults facing housing instability, a growing population in our region
  • #1137 – Access to Counsel (Rep. Rogers) for $7 million to establish an access to counsel program for low-income tenants and low-income owner occupants in eviction proceedings
  • #392 – Public Housing (Rep. Sena) to increase funding by $10 million to $112 million
  • #842 – RAFT (Rep. Howard) to increase funding to $250 million
  • #1483 – Improvements to RAFT (Rep. Decker) to make RAFT more accessible and flexible, including prohibiting DHCD from requiring a Notice to Quit to become eligible for rental assistance
  • #843 – Mass. Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) (Rep. Howard)  to increase funding to $250 million
  • #1329 – Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP) (Rep. Consalvo) to allow project basing of AHVP vouchers
  • #498 – Improvements to HomeBASE (Rep. Barber) to increase HomeBASE benefit to $30,000 for every 24-month period; remove income increases as terms for ineligibility 
  • #974 – Unaccompanied Homeless Youth (Rep. O’Day) to increase funding for housing and services for youth experiencing homelessness to $12 million

Thank you for your consideration.

[your name, address]

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