On May 7, the Senate Ways and Means (SWM) Committee released its FY25 Budget Proposal.  

See an overview here from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

On housing and homelessness matters, our priority items include:

  • An increase of 22% to $219 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (similar to the House and Governor’s budgets).
  • Not included:  Access to Counsel in evictions for low-income tenants and owner-occupied landlords (funded in the House)
  • Not included:  $10 million to Shelter Workforce Development Funding of $10 million compared to FY24 (funded in the House)
  • Cut of $1.5 million to Housing Consumer Education Centers relative to FY24 (House cut $1.7m)
  • Cut of $500,000 to Home and Healthy for Good for systems change funding (funded in the House but not with specific systems change language)
  • Cut of $500,000 to Unaccompanied Homeless Youth and Young Adults (similar to House and Governor)
  • Many other items, e.g., Emergency Assistance shelter for families, HomeBASE, RAFT, Individual Homelessness services, were funded at levels similar to the House and Governor’s budgets

See the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless’ detailed breakdown here

Additionally, the SWM budget proposes to fully fund community college for all students.  We know that higher education increases income which increases housing stability.  Special thanks to our western MA Senator Jo Comerford, Chair of the Joint Committee of Higher Education, for her leadership on this proposal.  

Amendments to the SWM proposal will be due by 2pm on Friday, May 10th. Senate debate on amendments will begin on Tuesday, May 21st.  Please stay tuned for action alerts around our priority amendments early next week!

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