Public Housing & Rental Assistance Committee Priority Setting
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Issue AreaDescriptionTopicsBackground InformationAction Items/TasksTimelineCommittee Priority
(Lead/Support)
CommentsPrevious Legislation Filed?Potential Research Items to Support AdvocacyOrganization/Member - Subject Matter ExpertsOrganizations/Members willing to be involved
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Budget: Public Housing Increasing public housing operating subsidy & public housing reform line-itemsBudgetBuild on efforts of MassNAHRO, Mass. Union, & CHAPA to advocate for increasing public housing subsidyOrganize meeting with key stakeholders in the fall to discuss events, messaging, coordination, campaignsLeadUpdating public housing funding report
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Budget: Rental AssistanceContinuing to grow rental assistance programs in the State Budget, including MRVP and AHVPBudgetContinue the success of advocacy campaign behind increasing MRVP & AHVPOrganize meeting with key stakeholders in the fall to discuss events, messaging, coordination, campaignsLead
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Public Housing ReformsProvisions include allowing LHAs to borrow against capital funds; implementing public-private partnerships; PILOT provisions; LHA land disposition; procurement exemptionsLegislationDespite support from LHAs, residents, and other stakeholders, the public housing provisions from last session's Economic Development Bill did not passRefine language; address concerns, particularly around labor; meet with interested stakeholdersRefine lanugage in October/November; find sponsors/co-sponsors in DecemberLeadHousing Bond Bill; Economic Development Bill
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Tenant ElectionsImplementing public housing reform from 2014 that required LHAs in towns to have a tenant board member
LegislationDHCD worked with MassUnion, MassNAHRO and CHAPAand came to an agreeement to appoint the Tenant Board member instead of electing. This has to be passed as a legislation either in informal session or as a new bill in Jan 2018.
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Increasing Tenant ParticipateStrengthening tenant participation, protections, and supporting LTOs, particularly as reforms are put into place around redvelopment agreements and tenant board members
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Raising Fair Market Rents (FMRs)State vouchers use rent levels from over a decade ago, making vouchers difficult to useLegislation; budget; advocacy with administrationEfforts have been made through the budget, discussions with DHCD, and legislation to increase FMRsDevelop best strategy for moving this issue forward - whether it be through legislation or continued budget advocacy, or bothMRVP Legislation Cost Analysis of Raising FMR
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Moving to Work CommentCoordinating comments on the annual Moving to Work Plan, which is DHCDs administrative plan for the Section 8 portfolio
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Mobility Opportunities for Voucher ProgramsBoston Housing Authority currently conducting a pilot program with 100 Housing Choice Vouchers to look for opportunities bargainsCommittee Meeting TopicAnalysis of where rental vouchers are leased
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Small Area FMRs (SAFMRs)In 2016, HUD expanded use of SAFMRs, which set voucher amounts at the neighborhood rather than metro level — letting vouchers pay more in high-rent neighborhoods and less in low-rent neighborhoodsCan SAFMRs be adapted for use at the state level
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Fair HousingStrengthening fair housing protections for tenants, including barriers to accessing public housing and rental assistance programsBest practices; legislation; advocacy with administrationCan we address certain barriers to those trying to access public housing and rental assistance programs, such as the impact of arrest records, credit checks, etc.
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Work Requirements & Rent IncreasesEfforts to implement work requirements and/or rent increases for housing assistance programs are happening at the federal and state level
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Federal Budget AdvocacyTaking opportunities to weigh in with the Administration and Congress, including key committees and the Massachusetts delegation to speak up for funding for rental assistance and public housing programsFederal BudgetFederal budget being developed currently; coordinated, sustained effort to engage with federal delegation on these issues to provide stories/support
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Cross-Sector PartnershipEncouraging and developing cross-sector partnerships to support residents of housing assistnace programs, including services and health careBest practicesBring in existing partnerships for others to learn about best practices and cross-sector efforts already in place
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Apprenticeship ProgramsA potential way of working with Labor groups is through the Apprenticeship bill filed advocated by MassUnion that facilitates apprenticeships for Public Housing residents to participate in building repairs, maintenance and other upkeep.
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Community Preservation Act Usage of CPA funds for Public Housing
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