Public PolicyThe Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless has a rich three-decade history as a leader in the fight to prevent and end homelessness here in the Commonwealth. The agency is steadfast in our belief that homelessness can be resolved by supplying safe, affordable, permanent housing for the lowest income households and providing opportunities for families and individuals to build economic stability. To achieve these goals, the Coalition and our members undertake campaigns in support of affordable housing, income and benefit programs, access to education, and emergency shelter.
* Please register today to join us on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at the State House for our upcoming Legislative Action Day! We'll be in the Great Hall from 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., with legislative visits in the afternoon. Click here for a flyer and more details.
To learn more about our unaccompanied youth homelessness campaign, please click here. To read the latest report of the Massachusetts Special Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth, click here. To see the text of the youth homelessness bill, as signed into law by former Governor Deval Patrick on January 6, 2015, please click here: Chapter 450 of the Acts of 2014. Thank you for your years of work to help make this happen!
Current Policy Campaigns
Information on the Coalition's 2015-2016 Bill Campaigns
- Overall bill priority fact sheet (updated with bill numbers, 3-23-15)
- Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children Program (EAEDC) bill: An Act relative to assisting elders and people with disabilities in the Commonwealth, filed by Representative Jim O'Day and lead Senate sponsor Senator Patricia Jehlen (House Bill 529): Fact sheet (updated 2-1-16), legislative page; infographic; status: House Bill 529 was reported out favorably by the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs and sent to the House Committee on Ways and Means on December 10, 2015!
- Bill of rights for people experiencing homelessness: An Act providing a homeless bill of rights, filed by Representative William Smitty Pignatelli (House Bill 1129): Fact sheet (updated 6-23-15), legislative page; flyer for 7-28-15 bill hearing at the State House; status: House Bill 1129 was reported out favorably by the Joint Committee on Housing and sent to the House Committee on Ways and Means on December 17, 2015!
- Bill to protect families with children who are being evicted from subsidized housing or terminated from shelter from having to stay in places not meant for human habitation: Filed by Representative Denise Provost (House Bill 119): Legislative page; status: The bill was heard by the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities on October 20, 2015, where it is awaiting further action.
- Sample of the Coalition's letter to legislators to request co-sponsorship of these three bills
- The Healthy Food, Healthy Homes, Healthy Children bill: An Act relative to ensuring the well-being of all children in the Commonwealth, filed by Representative Jay Livingstone (House Bill 429) and Senator Mark Montigny (Senate Bill 94): Fact sheet from the Healthy Food, Healthy Homes, Healthy Children Coalition; legislative pages for House Bill 429 and Senate Bill 94; status: The bill initially was assigned to the Joint Committee on Education, and then was sent to the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities. That committee heard the bill on October 20, 2015, and the bill is awaiting further action.
Information on the Coalition's FY'17 Budget Campaigns
Overall FY'17 priority fact sheet, including the Coalition's requests for line items such as Emergency Assistance, HomeBASE, youth homelessness, RAFT, Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, EAEDC, etc.
Expanding the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT, line item 7004-9316) homelessness prevention program: Campaign fact sheet (updated 1-25-16); downloadable organizational endorsement form; online organizational endorsement
Providing $4 million for housing and services for unaccompanied youth who are experiencing homelessness: Campaign endorsement form
Provide Emergency Assistance (EA) shelter and resources to families expreriencing homelessness before they have to stay in places not meant for human habitation: Campaign fact sheet
Increasing funding for the Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP, line item 7004-9030): Campaign fact sheet
Check back frequently for updates and additional campaign information.
Fall 2015 Supplemental Budget Campaign:
- Stand Up with Families without Homes: Ask Your Legislators to Oppose Family Shelter Access Restrictions in the Supplemental Budget: Action alert, 9-10-15 web version and PDF version; fact sheet for you; fact sheet to share with your legislators
Past Campaigns: Information on the Coalition's FY'16 Budget Campaigns
- Veto override campaign letter to Legislative Leadership to restore funding for housing/services for unaccompanied youth and for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (7-17-15); press release (7-22-15); email to Legislators (7-23-15)
Conference Committee budget outcomes (7-8-15)
Housing and services for unaccompanied youth (updated 5-7-15)
Transitional Aid to Families with Dependment Children program (TAFDC) House budget amendment fact sheet
To read our analysis of Governor Baker's FY'16 budget proposal, which was released on March 4, 2015, please click here.