CHAPA Asks State Senate to Restore Funding to Housing Programs

May 13, 2009
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The Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) is asking the Massachusetts Senate to restore the necessary funding to critical multifamily housing programs. The budget released by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, which would cut funding to affordable housing by 32 percent over FY ’09, “comes at the worst possible time for low and moderate income families, elders, and persons with disabilities,” warned CHAPA executive director Aaron Gornstein, in a letter to the committee.

Gornstein cautioned that Massachusetts’ local housing authorities would see a $4 million cut to their operating budget support. “This would lead to additional public housing apartments taken offline because they cannot be properly maintained at a time when vacancies are extremely low and the Administration has made many strides in reversing decades of neglect.”

He cited the cut’s disastrous effect on the state’s Rental Voucher Program, “which would be cut by 45 percent from $33,047,000 appropriated in FY ’09 to $17,997,061 proposed for FY ’10.” The average income of the households served by this program is less than $11,000. Almost all (79 percent) of the households are extremely low income, with many having incomes below 15 percent of the area median. Between 2,500 and 2,900 households would be removed from the program under the cut and face eviction. The proposed fiscal budget for the LIHTC program, specifically, would go from $2,334,014 to $2,329,213 in FY ’10.