Rep. Joseph McGonagle, vice-chair of the Housing committee, along with Chair Kevin Honan of Brighton and their committee, are pleased to announce their significant funding victories for Housing opportunities in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget.
The 2021 budget was passed much later this year and in a first ever remote format due to COVID-19.
Just over $280 million of the $46 billion House budget was dedicated to housing priorities in the Commonwealth. Some of the major victories include $135 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), which works to maintain stability for families and individuals who are at risk of being homeless and $50 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), which provides families and individuals with temporary assistance to obtain or retain housing.
“I am extremely pleased with how the housing priorities made out in the 2021 budget,” said McGonagle. “Housing stability and affordability have always been an important part of the legislature, but these issues became even more pertinent since the shutdown began in March. With many people struggling to pay their bills, the last thing we need is more individuals and families on the street in the middle of a pandemic. I am hopeful this funding will allow the terrific housing organizations to keep operating and helping the Commonwealth. Thank you to Chair Honan, Speaker DeLeo and Chair Michlewitz for their work on this.”
The full breakdown of the housing funds includes:
•$135 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP)
•$80 million for the public housing operating subsidy. This subsidy supports more than 50,000 state public housing units. LHAs have done a wonderful job keeping their residents healthy with increased cleaning and safety protocols during this pandemic.
•$50 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT). This program is the core component of the Administration’s Eviction Diversion Initiative.
•$4.1 million for Housing Consumer Education Centers. Nine member agencies statewide offer housing assistance, services, and information to low and moderate income residents. These centers are on the front lines of this pandemic, connecting residents with rental assistance and services they need to stay securely housed.
•$3.89 million for the Home and Healthy For Good Program, which places chronically homeless individuals into permanent housing with supportive services.
•$8.1 million for Alternative Housing Voucher Program, which provides rental assistance vouchers to non-elderly residents with disabilities.
•$1.5 million for Tenancy Preservation Program (TPP), which acts as a neutral third party between a landlord and tenants facing eviction and helps preserve tenancies at the housing court.