As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we know that it is more dangerous than ever for families, individuals, and youth to be experiencing homelessness. That is why it is so critical that we do all we can to prevent homelessness.
Right now, we as a Commonwealth have the opportunity to preserve the tenancies of families with children enrolled in the HomeBASE rehousing program (budget line item 7004-0108.) Each family participating in HomeBASE previously experienced homelessness. We can make sure that these families do not face a traumatic return to homelessness by simply extending HomeBASE benefits for an additional year beyond the initial one-year/$10,000 authorization.
We have been advocating with the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), which oversees the HomeBASE program, to use their existing power to proactively provide HomeBASE benefits for longer than one year.
We also are advocating with the Legislature to encourage the DHCD and Governor Baker immediately to extend HomeBASE benefits for an additional year to eligible families. We also are asking the Legislature to include language in the FY’21 budget (which is yet to be finalized) or another legislative vehicle requiring DHCD to provide extensions to eligible families.
Thank you to the 68 organizations that signed on to this week’s advocacy letter to the Legislature in support of providing an additional year of HomeBASE benefits. Read the organizational sign-on letter to the Legislature and see the full list of supporters here.