It is important to every family to have the basic security of a place to live. When children become homeless, their opportunity to succeed in school and in life is significantly reduced. Our new Budget Brief examines the Governor's funding proposals for affordable housing and shelter for families, and it puts those proposals in historical context.
In the 1990s Massachusetts dramatically reduced funding for affordable housing for low-income households. Before 1993 the state paid for almost 20,000 rental vouchers to help families pay for housing. By 2013, the state was funding only 5,600 such vouchers. As funding for housing vouchers has been cut, spending on family shelters has risen considerably. In our current difficult economic times, growing numbers of families have been unable to afford market rate housing and this has led to increased state costs to provide shelter.
Shelter and Housing for Homeless Families: Historical Funding and the Governor's FY 2015 Budget Proposal explains the Governor's proposals to increase funding for family shelters to allow families now living in hotels and motels to move into shelter. The Governor's budget also proposes level funding long-term housing programs, such as MRVP and state support for public housing. Funding shelters is an important way the state can make sure that families are not living in unhealthy and unsafe conditions -- and shelters provide important supports to help families get back on their feet that hotels and motels do not. But without adequate funding for long-term affordable housing -- or much more aggressive policies to help people escape poverty -- it will be difficult to find a lasting solution to the problem of family homelessness.
Race for Results: Building a Pathway to Opportunity for All Children
The Annie E. Casey KIDS COUNT project this week released Race for Results: Building a Pathway to Opportunity for All Children. The report explores the intersection of kids, race, and opportunity. The report features the new Race for Results index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state level. Read the full report.
MassBudget is the KIDS COUNT group for Massachusetts. You can learn more about our KIDS COUNT project here.
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