Dear Housing Solutions Campaign partner:
Attached (below) is a letter addressed to the conference committee members who will be negotiating the FY2010 legislative version of the budget. Please let me know if your organization is interested in signing on to this letter by Friday, June 5 – and who the signer will be. Also, please make any suggestions of other organizations that may also be interested in signing on – please think outside of the box on this – any shelter, housing authority, faith groups, etc. that you might have a relationship with. Note that this letter will appear on the letterhead of the Housing Solutions Campaign.
And please, keep the calls going to the conference committee – every one of them needs to hear from every one of us! I know that it’s making six separate phone calls, but think about the impact of taking those few moments to make those calls v. the impact of not fully funding MRVP. Thank you for your support!
Homes for Families
14 Beacon Street, Suite 615
Boston, MA 02108
Letter to Conference Committee:
re: Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP, line item 7004-9024)
Dear Distinguished Legislators of the Conference Committee:
The Housing Solutions Campaign is a diverse group of providers and advocates committed to restoring funding for MRVP. It being our intent to preserve one of the most valuable affordable housing programs in the Commonwealth, we submit this letter encouraging you to fully fund MRVP at $35.8 million, as recommended in the House FY2010 budget. The recommendation in the Senate version of the FY2010 budget of $28 million, plus the $2.5 million from MassHousing, would force the Department of Housing and Community Development to recall up to 1,200 vouchers.
While the Commonwealth continues to make strides towards its efforts to end homelessness, housing instability persists for many Massachusetts residents. Pulling back rental vouchers for the extremely low income families, elders and persons with disabilities currently leased up with an MRVP could potentially force many into homelessness. On average, the cost of sheltering a family is more than 5 times the amount of the cost for an MRVP voucher.
This potential loss of vouchers will not only impact those consumers directly utilizing the program, but also the landlords from whom they rent. We are already experiencing a foreclosure crisis, and with a significant loss of vouchers, these landlords stand the chance of falling behind on their mortgages, further destabilizing communities across the Commonwealth. Additionally, the hidden costs of homelessness will increase dramatically, such as the amount of money it costs local communities to transport homeless children back to their school of origin, as mandated by federal regulation.
For these reasons, the Housing Solutions Campaign requests that as a committee, you agree to fund MRVP at $35.8 million. Thank you for your consideration.
Cc: Senate President, Therese Murray
Speaker of the House, Robert DeLeo