Summary of Key Line Items and Amendments Relative to Housing and Homelessness
Yesterday, the House Committee on Ways and Means released their FY2017 Budget Proposal. Representatives have until mid-day tomorrow, Friday 4/15, to file amendments.
Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP, line item 7004-9024)
The HWM FY2017 budget proposal funds MRVP at $100 million, which includes carry over funding unspent in FY2016. However, this funding level is not sufficient to cover the cost of new vouchers and needed program fixes.
Amendment #52 filed by Representative Paul Donato: increases funding for MRVP to $120 million. To co-sponsor this amendment, representatives or the their staff can sign on using the LAWS system.
Amendment to be filed by Representative Sean Garballey: aligns MRVP mobile voucher rent cap with current HUD FMRs, allows for a data management system and requires DHCD to begin issuing new vouchers. To co-sponsor this amendment, representatives, or their staff, should contact John Rosenberry in Rep. Garballey’s office.
Emergency Assistance (EA, family shelter, line item 7004-0101)
The HWM FY2017 budget proposal funded EA at $155.1 million and made no changes to eligibility for the program.
Amendment to be filed by Representative Marjorie Decker: allows access to shelter for families who are at imminent risk of staying places not meant for human habitation. To co-sponsor this amendment, representatives, or their staff, should contact Tim Mahoney in Rep. Decker’s office.
Amendment to be filed by Representative Danielle Gregoire: requires DHCD to report certain data tracking points to the Legislature, including basic demographics of families experiencing homelessness and reasons that families are denied access to shelter. To co-sponsor this amendment, representatives, or their staff, should contact Jennifer Mercadante in Rep. Gregoire’s office.
Amendment #66 filed by Representative Adrian Madaro: continues funding for Homes for Families to provide technical assistance. To co-sponsor this amendment, representatives or the their staff can sign on using the LAWS system.
HomeBASE (line item 7004-0108)
The HWM FY2017 budget proposal funds HomeBASE at $31.9 million, a slight increase over current funding. It also opens access to a limited amount of funding to families experiencing homelessness who are sheltered in domestic violence or treatment facilities.
Amendment to be filed by Representative Christine Barber: This amendment builds off of the pilot program proposed in the budget to make HomeBASE available to income-eligible families in domestic violence and substance abuse programs. The amendment also allows families to renew HomeBASE in order to avoid evictions, loss of housing stability, or the need to re-enter shelter, and the amendment continues forward funding of the program to the nonprofit organizations that administer HomeBASE on behalf of the state. To co-sponsor this amendment, representatives or the their staff can sign on using the LAWS system.
Earned Income Tax Credit Amendments Sponsored By Representative Decker
- To increase the Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 23% to 50% of the federal credit
- To allow victims of DV to be eligible for the credit and direct the Department of Revenue to increase EITC outreach.
To co-sponsor this amendment, representatives or their staff should contact Tim Mahoney in Representative Decker’s office
Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) Work Study Amendment sponsored by Representative Sannicandro
This amendment provides $2.35 million to fund paid work study for families on TAFDC at community colleges and to pay for staff to help these students succeed in college.
To cosponsor this amendment, representatives or their staff can contact Becca Miller at Rebecca.Miller@mahouse.gov or 722-2013 by noon on Friday
Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (DWD 7002-1074) Amendment sponsored by Representative Wagner
This amendment to provide $4 million to support sector orientated workforce training that reflects best practices in workforce development including collaborations between employers, education programs and community based organizations.
To cosponsor this amendment, representatives or their staff can contact Rory O’Hanlon at Rory.O’Hanlon@mahouse.gov or 722-2370
TAFDC Job Search Amendment sponsored by Representative Cabral
This amendment requires proof of job search 60 days from application in order to be eligible for benefits.
To cosponsor amendment, representatives or their staff can contact Al Medeiros at Alves.Medeiros@mahouse.gov or 722-2017
Please stay tuned for more analysis and amendment information over the next two weeks.
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