To:                  All Local Housing Agencies and Regional Non-Profits
                        administering the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP)
From:              Amy Schectman, Associate Director
Subject:           MRVP FY08 Initiatives
Date:               October 25, 2007
I am pleased to inform you that the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will be implementing two new initiatives for the MRVP Program:
1)      An across the board rent increase for most MRVP Project Based (PB) units
2)      The availability of 100 Mobile MRVP vouchers in a centralized pool that your agency can apply to in order to service applicants on your MRVP and related waiting lists.
In 2002, due to the fiscal crisis facing the Commonwealth, DHCD had to make a series of painful cuts to the MRVP Program.  These cuts included a freezing of the rents on the “MHFA” and “FmHA” PB components, and a reduction of the remaining PB contract rents by $30 - $60.  In most cases these contract rents have remained at these reduced levels since 2002.  These units represent a large base of affordable housing, and to insure the retention of this portfolio, we feel a rent increase is an equitable action after five years of no increases.  
The 2002 cuts also included a freeze on the reissuance of MRVP Mobile vouchers, a freeze which was partially lifted in 2005 and 2006.  In recent months many agencies have expressed an interest to DHCD in receiving additional MRVP vouchers if any were to become available.  While DHCD is unable to fully lift the freeze and authorize the issuance of all Mobile vouchers that were under contract in 2002, we are initiating what we hope is a creative solution to the requests for more resources: a “pool” of 100 Mobile vouchers that your agency can apply to DHCD for and draw down from.