COVID Housing Funding Response

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commonwealth has made significant investments in housing assistance in FY20 and FY21.    

In addition to regular budget, and supplemental budget process, funds have been transferred from various state and federal sources to support housing programs.  

Below is a summary of table spending in FY19, FY20 and FY21 across select programs.  Additionally, a there is a separate post that details the housing related policy changes in the FY21 budget

Spending: 

Fiscal Year HomeBASE HCEC RAFT/ERMA MRVP AHVP 
2019 $27,000,000  $3,000,000  $22,039,639  $100,000,000  $6,150,000  
2020 $27,849,136  $5,250,000  $61,274,232  $117,000,000  $8,000,000  
2021 $31,308,168  $7,500,000  $133,065,000  $135,000,000  $12,526,596 

 
% increase over prior Fiscal Year: 

Fiscal Year HomeBASE HCEC RAFT/ERMA MRVP AHVP 
19 – – – – – 
20 3% 75% 178% 17% 30% 
21 12% 43% 117% 15% 57% 

===========================================

Program Details 

7004-0108 – HomeBASE:   

HomeBASE is the Commonwealth’s re-housing benefit created to provide families who are in the emergency shelter assistance system an opportunity to overcome some of the financial barriers to ending their homelessness. 

FY19 budget:  $32,000,000  
FY19 supp, Ch. 5, Acts 2019:* ($5,000,000) 
FY20 budget$25,825,000  
FY20 supp, Ch. 31, Acts 2020$2,023,686  
FY21 COVID Reserve:**    $2,250,000  
FY21 budget:***   $29,058,618 

*FY19 supp, Ch. 5 Acts, 2019: Authorized transfer of $5,000,000 surplus from this line item to line item 7004-0101 

**Eviction Diversion Initiative (EDI) Funds 

***FY21 budget: $27,158,178 + “up to $1,900,440 appropriated for this item in fiscal year 2020 shall not revert but shall be made available for the purposes of this item in fiscal year 2021”) 

7004-3036 –  Regional Housing Consumer Education Centers:  

RAFT is administered through the Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs).  The HCECs are located in 9 regions across the state. 

FY19 budget$3,000,000  
FY20 budget:    $3,750,000  
FY20 supp, Ch. 124, Acts 2020:  $1,500,000  
FY21 COVID reserve:* $1,250,000  
FY21 Coronavirus Relief Fund from supp:* $1,500,000  
FY21 budget:  $4,750,000 

*EDI Funds 

7004-9316 –  Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT):   

The Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Program is a homelessness prevention program funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). RAFT provides short-term financial assistance to low-income families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. 

FY19 budget$20,000,000  
FY19 supp, Ch. 142, Acts 2019:  $2,029,639  
FY20 budget$16,274,232  
FY20: March 25 Announcement: transfer to RAFT from MassHousing  $5,000,000  
FY20 supp, Ch. 124, Acts 2020:  $20,000,000  
FY20 ERMA:* $20,000,000 
FY21 Community Development Block Grant:** $18,000,000  
FY21 COVID Reserve:** $30,365,000  
FY21 New Coronavirus Relief Fund:** $15,000,000  
FY21 Coronavirus Relief Fund from supp:** $15,000,000  
FY21 budget:*** $54,700,000 

* Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Funded by $10 million in CDBG Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) dollars, $5 million from federal Tenant Based Rental Assistance, and $5 million from federal Moving To Work funding. 

**  EDI Funds 

*** FY21 budget:  

  • $4,700,000 from the Housing Preservation and Stabilization Trust Fund established under section 60 of chapter 121B of the General Laws shall be made available to this item in addition to the amount appropriated” 

7004-9024 – Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program: 

The Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), provides a permanent improvement in the lives of low-income families and individuals by offering rental subsidies to those eligible for the program. 

FY19 budget:  $100,000,000  
FY20 budget:* $117,000,000  
FY21 budget:** $135,000,000 

*FY20 budget:   

$110,000,000 + “up to $6,000,000 appropriated for this item in fiscal year 2019 shall not revert but shall be made available for the purposes of this item in fiscal year 2020” 

FY20 supp, Ch. 124, Acts 2020:  

“provided further, that up to $6,000,000 appropriated for this item in fiscal year 2019 shall not revert but shall be made available for the purposes of this item in fiscal year 2020; and provided further, that funds in this line item shall be made available until June 30, 2021.” 

**FY21 budget:  

$125,501,294 + “up to $9,498,706 appropriated for this item in fiscal year 2020 shall not revert but shall be made available for the purposes of this item in fiscal year 2021” 

7004-9030 – Alternative Housing Voucher Program:   

The Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP) provides rental vouchers to disabled applicants who are not elderly and who have been determined eligible for Chapter 667 (elderly and disabled) housing. 

FY19 budget$6,150,000  
FY20 budget$8,000,000  
FY21 budget$12,526,596 

FY 20 supp, Ch. 124, Acts 2020:  “shall be made available until June 30, 2021.” 

*FY21 budget:  $12,526,596 

$10,621,601 + “up to $1,904,995 appropriated for this item in fiscal year 2020 shall not revert but shall be made available for the purposes of this item in fiscal year 2021 

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this information about housing and Covid.
    I just want to point out that Colorado is counting gunshot deaths as Covid deaths if the victim tested positive.
    See this report:
    https://denver.cbslocal.com/2020/12/17/grand-county-coronavirus-deaths-covid/
    Washington State is doing the same:
    https://www.freedomfoundation.com/washington/washington-health-officials-gunshot-victims-counted-as-covid-19-deaths/

    Sort of makes a person doubt all these Covid statistics.

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