Take action to expand homelessness and housing resources in the FY22 Senate budget

Join us in taking action to expand homelessness and housing resources in the FY22 Senate budget. Sign our online action to your State Senator today, as they consider cosponsoring amendments to improve the Senate budget ahead of the Senate budget debate, which is set to begin on May 25th.

Email to Senators on FY22 Budget Amendments

The Massachusetts State Senate has released their FY22 budget proposals and at the Coalition, we are working hard to make sure that key homelessness priorities are included. While we are happy to see key priorities around homelessness and housing funded, we are still advocating for amendments for additional funding for and access to key programs like HomeBASE and the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, and increased tracking and reporting language to understand who is able to access housing and homelessness programs and who is left out. Reach out to your State Senator today to let them know that you want to see these amendments included in the final version of the Senate FY22 budget.

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Dear [recipient position will go here] [recipient name will go here],

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Please ask your State Senator to cosponsor and actively support these amendments:

  • Senator Chang-Díaz has filed Amendment #804 on improving Emergency Assistance data collection to inform and drive better service to children and families experiencing homelessness.
    • This amendment would require the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to track and report additional, vital data on the Emergency Assistance (EA) family shelter program and related HomeBASE program. The amendment seeks to secure race and ethnicity data on families requesting access to EA, approved, and denied; detailed information on why families are denied access to EA; data on families that begin an EA application and then stay in places not meant for human habitation while completing the application process and awaiting an eligibility determination; more detailed data on families re-entering shelter after timing out of the HomeBASE program, in particular in the current absence of HomeBASE benefit extensions; more detailed data on families awaiting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the nature of their accommodation requests; more data on families placed outside of their home community and children’s school districts; data on families staying in congregate and shared settings during the COVID-19 pandemic; and data on families approved for extended leave from shelter to better allow for COVID-19 social distancing, isolation, quarantine, and care of family member or self. Such information is critical for better serving children and parents who are experiencing homelessness, examining racial and ethnic inequities in the program, and addressing the unmet needs of families during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Senator Jehlen has filed Amendment #835 on renewing HomeBASE benefits for families who otherwise would time out/have timed out of HomeBASE before securing permanent housing; decoupling RAFT and HomeBASE benefits for the entire fiscal year to allow families to maximize both programs; bringing HomeBASE funding up to $45 million; and improving HomeBASE data collection.
    • This would provide a pathway to renewals for HomeBASE participants who are timing out of HomeBASE and facing a return to homelessness, provided the family is eligible and remains in good standing. It also would improve data collection with respect to race and ethnicity data on HomeBASE program participants.

  • Senator Jehlen has filed Amendment #371 on extending the CDC eviction protections within the Commonwealth through December 31, 2021.

    • This amendment would extend the same eviction protections currently provided the CDC eviction moratorium statewide until December 31, 2021. (The CDC moratorium is scheduled to end in June, but has been challenged at the federal level. While the protections still are in place, a judge has temporarily stayed an order to end the protections.) This amendment is especially critical as other COVID-19 resources and protections are slated to end when the Massachusetts state of emergency is lifted.

  • Senator Crighton has filed Amendment #756 on improving RAFT, by increasing the appropriation to $26.7 million; keeping the $10,000 benefit cap for the entire fiscal year (not just during the state of emergency); and decoupling RAFT and HomeBASE benefits for the entire fiscal year to allow families to maximize both programs.
    • This amendment would incease the amount of RAFT funding from the state and retain the $10,000 benefit cap. It would also decouple RAFT and HomeBASE so that families will be able to use both programs to help them remain stably housed or to exit homelessness.  
  • Senator Keenan has filed Amendment #444 to increase direct MRVP funding from $130 million to $160 million.
    • This amendment would increase MRVP funding and allow the program to grow and retain more vouchers to meet the need. 
  • Senator Cyr has filed Amendment #744 on the YouthWorks program and youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.
    • This amendment would provide for language changes adding emphasis on LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and other young adults experiencing homelessness. It would expand the definition of at-risk youth and opens up opportunities for more young adults experiencing homelessness to access opportunities through YouthWorks.

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