FY 2012 State Budget Moves from
Conference Committee to the Governor’s Desk
Last week the Massachusetts Legislature released its FY 2012 Budget.
The budget proposal which is now on Governor Patrick’s desk includes the new $38.6 million dollar HomeBASE program which will offer homeless and immediately at-risk families a housing alternative to shelter. The HomeBASE language that came out of conference committee represents a compromise between the House 1, House, and Senate versions.
The inclusion of HomeBASE in the budget is a major reform to the way the Commonwealth assists homeless families. Below are key components of HomeBase program (7004-0108) from the Conference Committee budget:
- Families that face homelessness and are served with HomeBase short-term rental assistance may secure rental housing with the help of the 9 Regional Housing Nonprofits, the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance, and Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development.
- Assisted Families will pay no more than 35% of their income towards rent and utilities when they are enrolled in the program. HomeBase assistance is capped at three continuous years.
- Families could also receive up to $4,000 in diversion assistance to avoid homelessness if they don’t need continuous rental assistance.
- To be eligible for HomeBase families can earn no more than 115% of the federal poverty level, but if they are successful in increasing their incomes while utilizing the program, families could earn up to 50% of area median income without being terminated from the program.
- Families enrolled in HomeBase will be assigned a stabilization worker and receive stabilization services.
- Families who have no alternative housing arrangements can be housed in HomeBASE funded temporary accommodations while waiting for a HomeBASE assistance.
CHAPA has posted additional details on the HomeBASE language on its webiste. Click here for more details.
In addition to the inclusion of HomeBASE the Conference Committee also included reformed Emergency Assistance (7004-0101) language. Key components of the EA line item include:
- To be eligible for EA shelter families can earn no more than 115% of the federal poverty level.
- Language was included that will allow resources to be transferred to HomeBASE as shelter reliance and need decreases.
- EA shelter will now be targeted toward:
· Families at-risk of domestic violence in their current housing
· Families that are homeless due to fire or natural disaster
· Families with a head of household 21 years or younger
- The line item language permits the use of EA to provide shelter for families awaiting assistance from HomeBASE
One Family is pleased that reformed EA language and the new HomeBASE program were included in the Conference Committee budget. We hope these reforms will allow homeless and at-risk families to access housing assistance more quickly without having to enter shelter to get the help they need.
We would like to extend our appreciation to the Patrick-Murray Administration and the Massachusetts State Legislature for all their hard work to pass this critical reform.
The budget has been sent to Governor Patrick who has ten days to approve the budget and can veto specific line item language and appropriations that he does not support.
Click here for the FY 2012 Conference Committee Language for EA and HomeBASE
Right Resources Blog Launch
One Family is excited to again announce the launch of our new Right Resources Blog. The Right Resources Blog will replace our former right resources bulletin board. We are pleased to offer this new, more user-friendly way to present our online resource center for those in the Massachusetts housing and homeless services community.
Our goal is to provide you with current news, events, policy and best practice updates related to ending homelessness. We hope this site will offer a streamlined place to access resources, ideas, and information to help us in our work. Feel free to comment on any blog post, engage in dialogue, and if you would like us to post a resource email us directly.
We hope you will subscribe to the Right Resources Blog to receive updates on either a daily or weekly basis (we recommend that you do not select to receive updates immediately because we don’t want to over load your inbox).
Let’s get started! Read our latest posts.
Latest News from the Right Resources Blog
The Boston Globe: Rosie’s Place Founder Kip Tiernan Dies at 85
July 04, 2011|By Bryan Marquard, Globe Staff
Kip Tiernan, who founded Rosie’s Place, the nation’s first shelter for homeless women, and whose persistent, raspy voice echoed from the streets to the State House as she advocated for the poor, died of cancer Saturday in her South End apartment.
She was 85.
Click here to access the full article.
Horizons for Homeless Children is excited to announce the launch of their new online action center. The action center
gives supporters the tools to easily communicate with elected officials, share your stories and stay on top of the legislative issues that impact young homeless children every day. Click here to learn more about the action center.
Please visit the Right Resources Blog for more resources, information, and articles related to ending homelessness