The Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), an NLIHC partner, has released recent reports on the state’s voucher program and the state’s approach to the foreclosure crisis.
A Model For Targeting State Vouchers to ELI. CHAPA and Home Funders, a Massachusetts collaboration of foundations, recently released Building the Stock. This report proposes linking Massachusetts’s state voucher program and various capital subsidies in order to create additional housing targeted to extremely low income (ELI) households.
The report notes that Home Funders set a goal of raising $26.5 million to use as low-interest loans to spark the creation of housing affordable to ELI households. Of that amount, $19.5 million is already available for projects that set aside 20% of the units for ELI households.
In the report, CHAPA and Home Funders recommend that the state increase the number of vouchers funded through the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), which had 4,350 vouchers in 2006—down from 9,646 in 1997. Building the Stock also recommends that the state provide a set aside of MRVP vouchers that are linked to a proposed “Capital Plus” voucher program. Two variations on the Capital Plus concept are offered. One option would provide developers a subsidy that fills the gap between the actual rent paid by the ELI household (no more than 30% of their income) and the “low HOME rent” (the rent that would be paid by a hypothetical household at 50% AMI). A second option would use MRVP as a backup guaranteed income stream for developments that cannot secure federal Housing Choice Vouchers until the project is complete.
Building the Stock is available at www.chapa.org/pdf/BuildingTheStock3.pdf.