Given the severe revenue shortfall facing the Commonwealth, Governor Baker has reduced the funding for housing authority operating subsidy by $1.5 million by veto. The new amount is $62,980,000 down from $64.5 million. The Legislature is expected to take up budget vetoes very soon. We must once again advocate strongly now just to preserve level funding of $64.5 million in FY 2018, which started July 1. Many other vetoes were inflicted on housing budget items that had received increases. Operating Subsidy had received no increase in this budget, prior to the reduction of $1.5 million.
We request state senators and representatives support an override of the Governor's veto of $1.5 million in line item 7004‑9005 Public Housing Operating Subsidy in the FY 2018 state budget. See letter to leadership.
Given all the major changes that LHAs have undertaken during the last two years (AUP, PMRs, RCATs), now is NOT the time to reduce LHA resources going forward. The Housing Portal will be implemented locally during fiscal 2018. LHA operating costs go up an average of 3% a year. A $1.5 million veto reduces subsidy by 3% for a total funding gap of 6% in FY 2018.
Mass. Union of Public Housing Tenants, CHAPA, and the Building Blocks Coalition all support the override of the Governor's veto.