Conference Committee Budget Analysis


On June 27th, the Conference Committee released their FY13 Budget which was voted favorably in both the House (3 nays, the rest yays) and Senate (unanimously).  Now, the Governor has 10 days to sign the budget and make any vetoes.  He does not have to take the full ten days.  The FY13 fiscal year began on July 1, and Massachusetts is currently operating with a short term budget.  Below is a chart outlining the key differences in the language, HFF’s recommendations and the final outcome from the Conference Committee is listed in red.

Housing and Homelessness Programs

FY2013 Conference Committee Budget

Compared to Homes for Families’ Recommendations

Line item Issue House Senate HFF Recommendation/Outcome
7004-0101Emergency Assistance Funding $88.9 million (+$16.6 million for motel funding, see 7004-0103 below = $105.5 ) $96.7 million Adopt House versionSenate amount but with the two line items: $80 million (+$16.6 million for motel funding)
  Families who go over income (115% FPL) EA benefits terminated 3 months after going over income EA benefits terminated 6 months after going over income Adopt Senate version Maintained 6 month language (Senate version)
  Eligibility “Includes” certain categories of families Restricts access to certain categories of families and protects eligibility for certain populations Adopt Senate versionSenate Language Adopted
  Time limit Places a 9 month time limit for families in shelter Families in shelter for more than 32 weeks are required to develop a shelter exit plan Adopt Senate versionSenate Language Adopted
  Access to HomeBASE No provision Disallows access to HomeBASE for families who have been in shelter for longer than 32 weeks Adopt House versionSenate Language Adopted;

Families remaining in shelter for longer than 32 weeks will not have access to HomeBASE Assistance

  Savings requirement Requires families to escrow a portion of income Requires families save 30% of their income Adopt House versionAdopted Senate language with exemptions based on FY12 regulations
  Advanced notice to legislature Requires 60 days advanced notice of changes to EA regulations Requires 30 days advanced notice of changes to EA regulations Adopt House versionAdopted House requiring 60 days notice for a reduction of benefits
  Scattered-site units No recommendation Requires DHCD to attempt to convert scattered site units into congregate shelters Adopt House versionAdopted Senate version
  Housing search No provision Requires DHCD to provide housing search for all families (including those in motels) within 16 weeks Adopt Senate versionAdopted Senate version
  Shelter contracts Requires DHCD to enter into 12 month contracts with providers No provision Adopt House versionLanguage was added, similar to the House language, mandating 7 month contracts
  Technical Assistance No provision Designates funding shall be allocated to HFF for tech. asst. Adopt Senate versionSenate language adopted
7004-0103Hotel/Motel Funding $16.6 million Does not exist Adopt House versionNew Line Item adopted, as proposed by the House
7004-0108HomeBASE Funding $83.4 million $90.8 million Adopt Senate version$83.4M- House Amount

 

  Per household funding Up to $4,000 per household Up to $6,000 per household Adopt Senate versionHouse Version Adopted
HomeBASE (cont.) Rent cap 80% of HUD defined Fair Market Rent No cap Adopt Senate versionAdapted Senate version

 

  End of rental assistance, EA access Family who is terminated is ineligible for shelter  and/or HomeBASE for 1 year Family who is terminated is ineligible for shelter and/or HomeBASE for 2 years Adopt House versionAdopted House version
  Over income families Families entered prior to July 1, 2012 have 6 months to exit after income exceeds 50% AMI; families entering after July 1 have 6 months to exit after income exceeds 115% FPL All families whose incomes exceed 50%AMI have 6 months to exit program Adopt Senate versionAdopted House Version
  Access for EA families No reference Disallows access to EA families who have been in shelter longer than 32 weeks Adopt House versionAdopted Senate Version
7004-3045Tenancy Preservation Program Funding $250,000 $500,000 Adopt Senate version$350,000
7004-9005 Public Housing Operating Subsidies Funding $64.5 million $62.5 million Adopt House versionHouse Funding: $64.5M
7004-9024Mass. Rental Voucher Program Funding $46 million $42 million Adopt House versionSenate Funding: $42M
  Targeting of new vouchers 923 vouchers for families residing in shelters or motels Sets aside $800,000 for the development of supportive housing for families and individuals Adopt Senate supportive housing, any additional vouchers, House versionNo targeting language
  Income eligibility 200% FPL 50% AMI Adopt Senate versionHouse Language: Maintaining the  200% of FPL as the cap
  Administrative fee $30 per voucher per month $32.50 per voucher per month Adopt Senate versionSenate version adopted
7004-9316Residential Assistance for Families in Transition Targeted population to be served Not less than 65% of funding goes toward families at or below 15% AMI Not less than 90% of funding goes toward families at or below 30% AMI, prioritizing families who would otherwise be eligible for shelter Adopt Senate versionSenate Language Adopted
  Per household funding Up to $4,000 Up to $6,000 ($4,000 from RAFT, additional 2 from HomeBASE if deemed appropriate) Adopt Senate versionHouse Language Adopted

Click here for Mass Law Reform’s Analysis of how the budget will impact homeless and low income families. 

LH

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