Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 2 Fiscal Year 2013

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2013

7004-0101 - Emergency Assistance - Family Shelters and Services




Account Description FY 2012
GAA
FY 2013
House 2
7004-0101 Emergency Assistance - Family Shelters and Services
For certain expenses of contracted family shelters under the emergency assistance program pursuant to section 30 of chapter 23B of the General Laws; provided, that eligibility shall be limited to families with income at or below 115 per cent of the 2011 or later-issued higher federal poverty level for a period of no longer than 8 months from the date the family first enters a shelter, subject to a good cause exception for a disability; 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 during such 8 month period; provided further, that those families that shall be eligible for assistance through a temporary emergency family shelter shall include (1) families that there are at risk of domestic abuse in their current housing situation; (2) families that, through no fault of their own, are homeless due to fire or natural disaster; (3) families that have been subject to eviction from their most recent housing, through no fault of the family, due to foreclosure or condemnation or nonpayment of rent caused by documented loss of income within the past 12 months directly as a result of loss of a job or documented medical condition; and (4) families who are in a housing situation where they are not the primary lease holder and there is substantial health and safety risk that would likely result in a significant detriment should the family remain in the housing situation; provided further, that the department shall contract with the department of children and families to conduct health and safety 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 housing assistance necessary to maintain housing under 7004-0108; provided further, that a family may not decline an offer for available housing or housing assistance necessary to maintain housing provided that the offer adequately accommodates the size and disabilities of the family and the new housing placement shall not result in a job loss for the client; provided further, that any family that declines an adequate offer of available housing or housing assistance necessary to maintain housing shall become ineligible for assistance from this item; provided further, that the department shall establish reasonable requirements for such families to escrow a portion of their income; provided further, that the escrowed funds shall be exempt from otherwise applicable asset limits; provided further, that the family may withdraw the amount placed in escrow upon transition to permanent housing or losing eligibility for shelter services; provided further, that benefits under this item shall be provided only to residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who are citizens of the United States or aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence or otherwise permanently residing under color of the law in the United States; provided further, that the department shall take all steps necessary to enforce regulations to prevent abuse of the emergency assistance program, including a wage match agreement with the department of revenue; provided further, that no emergency assistance expenditures shall be paid from this item unless explicitly authorized; 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 make every effort to ensure that children receiving services from this item shall continue attending school in the community in which they lived prior to receiving services funded from this line item; provided further, that should a family with a child under the age of 3 be placed in a hotel or motel, the department of housing and community development shall ensure that the hotel or motel provides a crib for each child under the age of 3 that meets all the state and federal safety codes; provided further, that notwithstanding any other 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 such 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 providing that family who previously received shelter is ineligible for shelter benefits for a period of 12 months; provided further, that families receiving such shelter benefits who are found not to be eligible for continuing shelter benefits shall be eligible for aid pending a timely appeal pursuant to chapter 23B of the General Laws; provided further, that the department shall not impose unreasonable requirements for third-party verification and shall accept verifications from a family whenever reasonable; provided further, that the department shall use its best efforts to ensure that a family placed by the emergency assistance program shall be provided with access to refrigeration and basic cooking facilities; provided further, that upon the approval of the secretary of administration and finance, any amounts appropriated in this item may be transferred to item 7004-0108 or to item 7004-9316; provided further, that any transfer of funds shall not leave this item in a projected deficit; provided further, that no funds shall be expended for costs associated with the use and maintenance of the homeless management information system in connection with federally funded activities; and provided further, the department of housing and community development shall notify local school departments of the placement of a family in its district within 5 days of placement
97,797,200 100,368,742

Decreased funding as part of larger housing reform

 
 


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