Yesterday, the MA Legislative FY2016 Conference Committee released its final budget recommendations.
We have provided an analysis of our primary and secondary priorities.
Here it is in word form:
Governor Baker now has 10 days to take action by signing the budget into law, vetoing the entire budget or vetoing line items within the budget.
Perhaps most noteworthy is the significant restoration of funding to the MA Rental Voucher Program which would be funded at $91 million in FY2016. This will maintain the current number of vouchers in use and will allow for the release of approximately 800 new vouchers. Along with members of the Housing Solutions Campaign, we will be meeting with folks from DHCD next week to discuss and make recommendations for a distribution plan for these new vouchers. Click here to view a recent letter sent to DHCD Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay highlighting these recommendations.
Also of note, eligibility for Emergency Assistance (EA, family shelter) remains the same. HomeBASE funding was increased to $31.2 million, allowing for families to access up to $8,000 to assist with moving out of shelter. While funding for TAFDC was decreased due to a decline in the caseload, the clothing allowance was increased to $200 per child.
And here is the analysis in chart form:
We again want to take the opportunity to thank you all for your incredible advocacy work. Whether it is attending HFF meetings, coming to one of our advocacy events, or making calls and visits to your legislators, it is your work that continues to educate legislators on the importance of investing in policies and programs that support homeless and at-risk families. Please take a moment to celebrate these victories – we sure have!