Urgent update from Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness:
Three quick and urgent actions from Homes for All MA:
1. Ask your organization to sign on to the letter NOW to prevent the state from ending pandemic emergency rental assistance. Deadline for sign-ons: Friday, December 17 at noon.
2. Call and/or email your State Rep and Senator – find their contact info here.
The Message: (add your name and address, and adapt with your own words if possible): Act now to stop the Governor from beginning to wind down the emergency rental assistance program on January 1, 2022. That would cause even more evictions during the pandemic. Please act now to provide additional rent assistance funds and stop the harmful changes planned for the start of the new year.
3. Then forward this alert to your networks!
Background: The Baker administration has abruptly decided to ramp down emergency rental assistance even though there are millions in unused, available federal funds that could be employed to continue this critical help. Key changes that will begin to ramp down the program take effect January 1, 2022 unless we push the Governor, DHCD, and the State Legislature to act NOW.
The Baker Administration has already begun notifying stakeholders that “ERAP” (Emergency Rental Assistance Program) is projected to run out of funds in just over six months, and that in response, the state will begin to wind down key portions of the program in January!
At a time when application numbers are increasing, the announced changes will result in more evictions and additional burdens on people already in crisis due to the pandemic. These changes are being implemented on a very short timeline amidst another winter COVID-19 surge, without input from community stakeholders or notice to households counting on assistance to remain in their homes. More details in the letter.
Thank you to Pamela Schwartz for sharing this important action update.