Category Archives: Advocacy

Progress on Zoning Reform

A message from CHAPA regarding Zoning Reform:

Zoning Reform passed the State Senate today (June 9)! The final bill contained much needed updates to our zoning practices as well as a multifamily zoning requirement and an amendment prohibiting discriminatory land use decisions against affordable housing developments.  Also, the bill came out free and clear of any changes to Chapter 40B!  Thank you to those who made calls or reached out to their State Senator to help get this passed. Now onto the House!

Alert: Conference Committee Action on Network Priorities

The Conference Committee is preparing to meet later this week to resolve differences between the House and Senate budgets.  The Conference Committee membership includes our own Rep. Stephen Kulik (Vice Chair of House Ways and Means) and Rep. Todd Smola (from Hampden, Hampshire and Worcester County).  Also, please contact Senate President Stan Rosenberg and then your own legislators to urge them to advocate for these priorities with Conference Committee members (also including Rep. Dempsey, Senator Spilka, Senator DiDomenico, Senator deMacedo).

Click here for a document that lays out the Network priorities vis-a-vis the House and Senate budgets and our current requests.  In summary, our top priorities include:

  • Secure Jobs Initiative: adopt Senate budget of $850,000 in the line-item and $750,000 allocated from the Housing Trust Fund
  • Individual shelter funding: adopt a provision that ensures any additional unencumbered funds in the line-item are allocated to shelter and service providers (as opposed to outside earmarks)
  • Local Consortiums: adopt the Senate budget of $1 million
  • Youth Housing and Services: adopt the Senate budget of $2 million
  • RAFT expansion: adopt the Senate budget of $13 million that will provide prevention services to individuals
  • The Western MA Network: adopt the House budget of $125,000

You can find your legislator here.

Thank you for your advocacy during this critical time!

Fiscal Year 2017 Senate Budget Outcomes

The Senate passed its FY17 budget late last week.  Below is a summary of the Senate budget outcomes in relation to Network priorities and how they compare to the House budget. The budget process will now move into conference committee to resolve differences.  Please stay tuned for action alerts as the timing becomes clear.

Meanwhile, please contact your Senator to thank them for their great work on the budget.  Our Western MA delegation is wonderfully supportive of our priorities!  To find your Senator’s contact info, please click here.

Network Priorities and Senate/House Budget Outcomes:

  • Secure Jobs Initiative: The Senate funded the line-item at $850,000 with an additional provision to allocate $750,000 from the Housing Trust Fund.  This is a HUGE victory ($2 million is necessary to keep the program whole statewide.) The House funded SJI at $500,000.
  • Funding for individual shelters (expansion of bed rate from $25 to $30/night): Neither budget specifies funds for the unit rate. The Senate increased funding for this line-item by $750,000.  The House increased funding by $500,000.  But earmarks in the line-item total more than the unallocated funds.
  • Local Consortium Funding (for prevention and coordinated entry): The Senate funded the Consortiums at $1 million.  The House did not fund the Consortiums.
  • Unaccompanied Homeless Youth:  The Senate funded housing and services for unaccompanied homeless youth at $2 million. The House allocated $1 million.
  • RAFT funding expansion to include individuals: The Senate increased funding by $500,000 to the serve individuals which would allow an estimated 173 individuals to receive assistance.  The House did not increase RAFT funding from the FY16 level.
  • Rental Voucher Program: The Senate funded MRVP at $100,083,891 and the House funded MRVP at $100,000,000.  The Senate budget language added the requirement for vouchers to be issued prior to August 1.
  • HomeBASE expansion of eligibility to include families in DV shelters and substance abuse programs: Both the Senate and House include the expansion (capped at $300,000).  The Senate includes the language in the EA line-item and does not give DHCD referral authority; the House has it in the HomeBASE line item and gives DHCD referral authority.
  • Home and Healthy for Good (and LGBT Young Adult Earmark): The Senate funded the line item at $2 million. The House funded it at $2.3 million. Both include funding for the LGBTQ youth homelessness program in Western Massachusetts.
  • Tenancy Preservation Project: The Senate funded TPP $750,000.  The House funded it at $500,000.
  • McKinney-Vento education transportation funding: The Senate and House funded this line-item at $8.35 million (level funding).
  • Western MA Network to End Homelessness funding: The Senate did not fund the Network (although we received excellent Western MA senate support of the amendment).  The House funded the Network at $125,000.

Again, I will be in touch regarding conference committee action.  Thanks for your advocacy!