26 Mar Statement: Response to Legislative Action Regarding Housing and COVID-19
Statement: Response to MA Legislative Action Regarding Housing and COVID-19
Metro Housing|Boston joins the Regional Housing Network (RHN) of Massachusetts in applauding the important steps taken yesterday (March 25) to protect Massachusetts residents facing housing insecurity due to COVID-19. The $5 million infusion in the Rental Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program and corresponding lifting of administrative red tape and barriers is an important first step in meeting the surge of new clients that are anticipated.
Thousands of Massachusetts individuals and families are facing reduced hours, lost wages, and unemployment. When the State of Emergency order does get lifted, many residents may potentially owe thousands of dollars in back rent. To keep families in their homes, we believe we will ultimately need additional resources and will be asking the Legislature for an additional appropriation for RAFT, while lifting certain income eligibility requirements. We will also be asking for an additional appropriation for Housing Consumer Education Centers, which administer RAFT and help residents navigate housing options in a crisis. We are also asking for further regulatory relief of certain requirements that make it impossible to both meet participant’s needs and simultaneously practice physical distancing. We are confident that with these steps, we can meet the housing needs of Massachusetts families in this difficult time.
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