On Jan. 25, Gov. Maura Healey filed a supplemental budget bill (H. 4284), prioritizing funds for the state’s emergency shelter system.

Her proposal would create a new Emergency Housing and Community Trust Fund using the balance of the state’s transitional escrow fund, which was created in prior fiscal years when the state realized large amounts of surplus revenue. The balance in the escrow fund was approximately $700 million as of December, according to the administration.

In a letter accompanying the supplemental budget bill, the governor said the emergency shelter system will have a deficiency in fiscal 2024 and is expected to have a deficiency in fiscal 2025 as well.

The Emergency Housing and Community Trust Fund would distribute an allocation in the current fiscal year and give the administration the ability to draw from the fund in fiscal 2025.

Proposed spending for fiscal 2024 would include:
• $215 million for Emergency Shelter and Services
• $150 million for grants or loans to be administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities
• $10 million for supportive services for unhoused families

In a Dec. 18 report to the Legislature, the administration shared shelter system data and made the case for future needs, saying the state faces “a two fiscal year problem, requiring a solution that spans FY24 and FY25.” The report proposed using the state’s transitional escrow account to fund the deficiency.

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