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Public housing officials voice appreciation for legislators’ local support at State House event

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At the 35th Annual Legislative Information Day, officials from the Revere Housing Authority met with State Senator Joseph Boncore and State Representative RoseLee Vincent to discuss the need for increased state support of public housing. The event, which was at the State House on April 13, was sponsored by the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (MassNAHRO).

At the event’s luncheon, the Revere Housing Authority (RHA) expressed its appreciation for the past support it has received from Senator Boncore and Representative Vincent for improving public housing for the residents of the communities they represent. RHA urged the legislators to consider an increase in the state subsidy for local public housing so it can better serve the residents of its properties.

“The state subsidy for public housing has not increased in seven fiscal years, making it more difficult for us to adequately meet the maintenance and service needs of our residents,” said RHA Vice Chairman Anthony Perrone. “We want to thank Senator Boncore and Representative Vincent for their past commitment to providing safe and decent affordable housing to the residents of Revere, and we hope they will continue to support our efforts to preserve and sustain locally owned and operated low-rent public housing.”

The current $64.5 million state subsidy for public housing, which is intended to close the gap between rental income and actual operating costs, has not increased in the last seven state budgets. That has meant a zero cap on allowable non-utility expenses by local housing authorities. MassNAHRO has asked the Legislature for a subsidy appropriation of $72 million for fiscal year 2018, which would allow for a 5.5 percent increase in the spending cap – or less than 3 percent for each of the last two fiscal years – to help cover the funding gap.

Local housing authorities are also continuing to implement changes authorized by passage of landmark public housing reform legislation three years ago.

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