This is not the official budget document.

Budget Summary FY2018

70040101 - Emergency Assistance Family Shelters and Services
Data Current as of:  12/6/2017





Account Description FY2017
Spending
FY2018
GAA
7004-0101 Emergency Assistance Family Shelters and Services
For certain expenses of the emergency housing assistance program under section 30 of chapter 23B of the General Laws; provided, that eligibility shall be limited to families with incomes at or below 115 per cent of the 2016 or later-issued higher federal poverty level; provided further, that any family whose income exceeds 115 per cent of the federal poverty level while the family is receiving assistance funded by this item shall not become ineligible for assistance due to exceeding the income limit for a period of 6 months from the date that the income level was exceeded; provided further, that families who are eligible for assistance through a temporary emergency family shelter shall include: (i) families who are at risk of domestic abuse in their current housing situation or who are homeless because they fled domestic violence and have not had access to safe, permanent housing since leaving the housing situation that they fled; (ii) families who, through no fault of their own, are homeless due to fire, flood or natural disaster; (iii) families who, through no fault of their own, have been subject to eviction from their most recent housing due to: (a) foreclosure; (b) condemnation; (c) conduct by a guest or former household member who is not part of the household seeking emergency shelter and over whose conduct the remaining household members had no control; or (d) nonpayment of rent caused by a documented medical condition or diagnosed disability or caused by a documented loss of income within the last 12 months directly as a result of a change in household composition or a loss of income source through no fault of the family; and (iv) families who are in a housing situation where they are not the primary leaseholder or who are in a housing situation not meant for human habitation and where there is a substantial health and safety risk to the family that is likely to result in significant harm should the family remain in such housing situation; provided further, that the health and safety risk shall be determined by the department of children and families through risk assessments; provided further, that a family who receives emergency housing assistance due to domestic abuse shall be connected to the appropriate social service agency; provided further, that temporary assistance under this item shall be terminated upon the offer of available housing or other assistance sufficient to maintain or stabilize housing; provided further, that a family may not decline an offer for available housing if the offer adequately accommodates the size and disabilities of the family and the new housing placement would not result in a job loss for the client; provided further, that any family who declines an adequate offer of available housing or other assistance sufficient to maintain or stabilize housing shall become ineligible for assistance from this item; provided further, that families receiving benefits under this item shall have 30 per cent of their income set aside in a savings account, subject to reasonable exceptions as set forth in departmental regulations in effect in fiscal year 2017; provided further, that the amount saved shall be exempt from otherwise applicable asset limits; provided further, that the family may withdraw the amount placed in savings upon transition to permanent housing or losing eligibility for shelter services; provided further, that families receiving emergency assistance shall receive housing search assistance that attempts to facilitate a sustainable housing placement within 16 weeks of entry into the emergency assistance shelter, motel or hotel; provided further, that families receiving assistance for longer than 32 weeks shall have an executable shelter exit plan that facilitates a housing placement in a new sustainable tenancy or a safe residence including, but not limited to, a placement for which the family is not the primary leaseholder, as soon as possible; provided further, that benefits under this item shall be provided only to residents of the commonwealth who are citizens of the United States or persons lawfully admitted for permanent residence or otherwise permanently residing under the color of the law in the United States; provided further, that as part of departmental efforts to prevent abuse of the emergency assistance program, the department shall enter into a wage match agreement with the department of revenue; provided further, that eligibility for shelter by an otherwise eligible family shall not be impaired by prior receipt of any nonshelter benefit; provided further, that an eligible household that is approved for shelter placement shall be placed in a shelter as close as possible to the household's home community unless a household requests otherwise; provided further, that if the closest available placement is not within 20 miles of the household's home community, the household shall be transferred to an appropriate shelter within 20 miles of its home community at the earliest possible date, unless the household requests otherwise; provided further, that the department shall notify local school departments of the placement of a family in its district within 5 days of placement; provided further, that the department shall make every effort to ensure that children receiving services from this item shall continue attending school in the community in which they lived before receiving services funded from this item; provided further, that the department shall use its best efforts to ensure that a family placed by the emergency housing assistance program shall be provided with access to refrigeration and basic cooking facilities; provided further, that if a family with a child under the age of 3 is placed in a hotel or motel, the department shall ensure that the hotel or motel provides a crib that meets all state and federal safety codes for each child under the age of 3; provided further, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department shall immediately provide shelter for up to 30 days to families who appear to be eligible for shelter based on statements provided by the family and any other information in the possession of the department but who need additional time to obtain any third-party verifications reasonably required by the department; provided further, that shelter benefits received under the preceding proviso shall not render a family ineligible under any regulation which provides that a family who previously received shelter is ineligible for shelter benefits for a period of 12 months; provided further, that families receiving shelter benefits who are found ineligible for continuing shelter benefits shall be eligible for aid pending a timely appeal under said chapter 23B of the General Laws; provided further, that the department shall not impose unreasonable requirements for third-party verifications and shall accept verifications from a family whenever reasonable; provided further, that this item shall be subject to appropriation, and in the event of a deficiency, nothing in this item shall give rise to or shall be construed as giving rise to any enforceable right or entitlement to services in excess of the amounts appropriated in this item; provided further, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, 90 days before promulgating or amending any regulations, administrative practice or policy that would alter eligibility for or the level of benefits under this program, other than that which would benefit the clients, the department shall file with the house and senate committees on ways and means, the clerks of the house of representatives and senate and the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities a written report setting forth justification for such changes including, but not limited to, any determination by the secretary of housing and economic development that available appropriations will be insufficient to meet projected expenses and the projected savings from any proposed changes; provided further, that no funds shall be expended for costs associated with the homeless management information system; provided further, that no funds from this item shall be expended for personnel or administrative costs; provided further, that the department shall endeavor to convert scattered site units to congregate units and, as allowed by demand, reduce the overall number of shelter beds through the reduction of scattered site units; provided further, that the department shall provide to the senate and house committees on ways and means a report of the most recently available monthly data on: (1) the number of applications for services provided for in this item and in item 7004-0108; (2) front-door entries into the emergency assistance system; (3) diversions as a result of HomeBASE household assistance; (4) exits through at-fault termination; (5) exits because the household is no longer income eligible; (6) exits through HomeBASE household assistance; and (7) exits to another subsidized housing program; provided further, that the department shall report quarterly to the house and senate committees on ways and means detailing: (a) the number of families transitioned from shelter benefits to affordable, subsidized or otherwise assisted housing through this program; (b) the average, minimum and maximum cost per family of such assistance; (c) the number of families served who required further assistance at a later date; (d) the type of assistance later required and provided; and (e) the current housing stability of each family who received transitional housing or short-term housing assistance within the prior 12 months; provided further, that the report shall also include the following information from the department of children and families: (A) the number of families assessed in the previous quarter; (B) the number of families determined to be at a substantial health and safety risk; (C) the number of families receiving multiple health and safety assessments within the previous 6-month period; and (D) the standards used to determine a substantial health and safety risk; provided further, that funds shall be expended for expenses incurred as a result of families being housed in hotels due to the unavailability of contracted shelter beds; provided further, that not less than $800,000 shall be expended to establish the Home Works program; provided further, that the Home Works program shall provide opportunities for children in the emergency housing assistance program to attend out-of-school time and summer programming run by youth-serving organizations; provided further, that a youth-serving organization shall apply to contract with the department of housing and community development to receive contract slots to serve children in the program; provided further, that youth-serving organizations shall obtain criminal offender record information for each staff member employed by the program with responsibilities that include direct care of children pursuant to section 172H of chapter 6 of the General Laws and sex offender registry information pursuant to section 178I of said chapter 6, as well as information that is publicly available from a registry of sex offender information that is operated or coordinated by the federal government; provided further, that not less than $45,000 shall be expended for Housing Assistance Corporation to assist housing insecure residents in Barnstable and Nantucket counties and in the county of Dukes County; provided further, that not less than $250,000 shall be expended for transportation benefits for families eligible for services provided under this item and item 7004-0108; provided further, that not less than $100,000 shall be expended for Horizons for Homeless Children; provided further, that $150,000 shall be expended for the operation of the Portal to Hope servicing Everett, Malden & Medford; and provided further, that funds shall be expended for technical assistance by Homes for Families, Inc

179,557,075 155,878,948

Veto Explanation:   I am striking language which earmarks funding for programs not recommended. The reduction in the item incorporates the amount of the stricken earmarked funds. I am also vetoing administratively burdensome language.