Category Archives: Advocacy

Legislative Update on Overrides

Please find below the update from CHAPA on the housing related override votes.  There is good news on a couple of priority items, especially the youth services program and the Tenancy Preservation Program.  We are still working on overrides for Housing Consumer Education, RAFT, Berkshire Regional Housing Authority and the Network itself.

Please keep advocating!

From Eric Shupin, CHAPA Public Policy Director:

On September 13th, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted to override $275 million in spending from the FY2018 state budget that Governor Baker vetoed in July. According to House Ways and Means Chair Jeffrey Sánchez, the House started with veto overrides for programs that have a statewide impact. Most of the funding restored to the budget included $220 million for MassHealth.

The House voted to restore funding to several of our affordable housing and homelessness prevention priorities. These include overrides for:

  • Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP): $400,000 veto
  • Public Housing Operating Subsidy: $1.5 million veto
  • Tenancy Preservation Program (TPP): $125,000 veto
  • Housing Court Expansion: $250,000 veto
  • Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Services: $625,000 veto
  • New Lease for Homeless Families: $125,000

The House did not override vetoes for several other priorities, including Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs), Foreclosure & Housing Counseling, Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), and Home and Healthy for Good. Chairman Sánchez said the House will continue to consider additional overrides in the coming weeks. The Senate must now vote on the overrides to restore funding.

Please continue to contact your legislators about taking up the overrides.

As a reminder, for a full list of CHAPA priorities impacted by the Governor’s vetoes, please click here.

Also, for your reference, to search for exactly which line-items were voted on by the House, you can visit the budget bill’s page and look for a line-item under “Bill History”.

Network Testimony Submitted in Opposition to Housing Bills that would further Restrict Access to Former Sex Offenders

The Network Leadership Council, in concert with the Network’s Work Group for People with Sex Offense Histories, approved submission of this written testimony on its behalf in opposition to two housing bills, S. 682 and S. 679, that would automatically deny public and subsidized housing and subsidized housing in hotels and motels to Level 2 and Level 3 former sex offenders.  The Joint Committee on Public Housing is holding its public hearing on these bills today. If you would like to weigh in further, please contact: Senator Joseph Boncare and Representative Kevin Honan, Committee Chairs, and your own legislator who you can find here.

Advocacy Alert: Override votes tomorrow!

Please see below for  this legislative update provided by Eric Shupin, Public Policy Director at CHAPA.  To find your legislator to contact, please go here.

Also, please note that the Network’s own funding is on the table for override consideration.  Please contact your legislator to urge their support of the Network override as well and please contact Representative Peter Kocot to thank him for his steadfast leadership in support of the Network. You can reach him here: Peter.Kocot@mahouse.gov or 617-722-2430.

From CHAPA:

As an update on the FY2018 budget, the Legislature indicated that it will begin taking up the veto overrides this coming week.

State House News reported that Chairman Sãnchez is still reviewing revenue reports for July and August but that he expects the House to take up at least some budget veto overrides when it returns to formal sessions on Wednesday. The revenue reports have not included unexpected revenue to support spending that would be added back into the budget through overrides. The Department of Revenue on Wednesday reported collecting 0.9% below the monthly benchmark. Two months into fiscal year 2018, tax collections are up 1.9% but $11 million below the year-to-date benchmark, the department said.

As the House begins to take up overrides, it would be helpful to reach out to the Legislature again to remind them of our vetoed budget priorities. For a reminder of which programs experienced cuts, please click here for a fact sheet that you are welcome to use and share.

CHAPA will be at the State House on Thursday, the 14th, during our Housing Day where one of our priorities is overriding the vetoes. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Great Hall with a speaking portion until 11:00 a.m., when we will begin legislative visits. Even if you have not already registered for the event, I hope you can join us!  Chairman Sãnchez will offer closing remarks at 1:00 p.m., after we finish meetings. I also encourage you to attend then!

For more information on Housing Day at the State House, visit the event page by clicking here.

 

In case you missed it! CHAPA Housing Day at the State House – Sept. 14

Because this post was made on the Friday before Labor Day weekend – an easy time to miss – I’m posting it one more time:

The Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness is proud to co-sponsor:

CHAPA’s Housing Day at the State House
Massachusetts State House, Great Room
24 Beacon Street, Boston
Thursday, September 14, 2017
9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

(Registration begins at 9 a.m.)

BREAKFAST AND LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED.
REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED SO THAT WE CAN COORDINATE MEETINGS WITH LEGISLATORS.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

Please join CHAPA for our 3rd Housing Day at the State House on Thursday, September 14, 2017. As the need for affordable housing grows, we hope you will attend with other housing advocates and policy makers to support the resources and policies that will help every person in Massachusetts have a safe, healthy, and affordable home.

A speaking program will begin at 9:30 a.m. when we will hear from legislators and housing leaders. This will be followed by meetings with legislators between
11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. that CHAPA will arrange for attendees.

At Housing Day, we will advocate for legislation and programs that will help producepreserve, and plan for more affordable housing. Our priorities will include:

The Housing Bond Bill – H.675An Act Financing the Production & Preservation of Housing for Low & Moderate Income Residents

This legislation invests $1.7 billion through the capital budget in affordable housing over five years, providing critical funding to produce, preserve, and modernize public and affordable housing in communities across the Commonwealth. The bill also extends the state Low Income Housing Tax Credit and expands its annual allocation by $5 million to preserve affordable housing at risk of being lost.

Funding Affordable Housing & Homelessness Prevention Programs in the State Budget

The FY2018 budget passed by the Legislature demonstrated strong support for many affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and community development resources. Unfortunately, many of these programs face cuts because of vetoes. At Housing Day, we will ask the Legislature to override these vetoes and restore funding to these critical housing resources.

The Housing Production Bill – H.3845, An Act Relative to Housing Production

Massachusetts needs 17,000 new homes each year to meet our housing needs. This bill provides the tools necessary to meet this demand, support economic growth, and provide a range of housing options in communities across the state. This legislation includes zoning reform measures, such as required that all cities and towns allow for the development of multifamily housing and accessory dwelling units; financial incentives to support community as they work to meet our housing needs, and the removal of programmatic barriers to development.

Great Neighborhoods Campaign – H.2420 & S.81

This legislation reforms our state’s planning, zoning, and permitting laws to support communities that work for families and seniors. Great neighborhoods offer housing choices, are vibrant and healthy places that protect open space and natural resources, and allow cities & towns to plan for the future.

If you have any questions,  please contact Eric Shupin at eshupin@chapa.org.