Statement on Inadequate Right to Shelter Reform Plan

Following the release of the Massachusetts House of Representatives proposal to make “reforms” to the emergency shelter program that is drawing so many migrants up from the open southern border to Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance noted that their plan is likely to be ineffective in solving the migrant crisis currently facing the Commonwealth.

This inadequate action by the Massachusetts legislature comes on the heels of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s announcement that state revenues continue to decline, with February’s numbers confirming the trend. The Department of Revenue announced Massachusetts is experiencing the longest streak of below benchmark revenue months in more than 20 years.

“The House plan merely places a 9-12 consecutive month limit on people accessing Right to Shelter housing, after which it’s likely they’ll be switched to other state subsidized housing options. This will not stop the influx of people from our open southern border flooding into Massachusetts, this will not solve our current housing capacity crisis, and this will not solve the issue of how we are going to continue to pay for housing, food, healthcare, and education for the tens of thousands of people our state is increasingly on the hook for everyday,” noted Paul Diego Craney, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.

“Legislative leaders don’t seem to fully understand how fiscally irresponsible it is to give away so much taxpayer money at the same time the state is experiencing the longest streak of below benchmark revenue months in more than 20 years. These State House leaders are bankrupting our state,” continued Craney.  

“The House proposal, released just the day before an expected vote, utterly fails to address the underlying cause of the fiscal, humanitarian, health care, and housing crises we are currently facing. So long as we give people, anywhere in the world, a blank check to receive Massachusetts public benefits, people will continue to fight tooth and nail to get here and collect those benefits. The Right to Shelter law was designed to ensure the indigent and homeless of the Commonwealth had access to housing, not to act as a clearing house for people flooding across our open southern border. If the House is actually serious about solving this crisis, then they need to focus on reforming the generous taxpayer funded benefits offered, starting with a residency requirement for the state’s right-to-shelter law. This will at least act as a deterrent so the entire world isn’t trying to get in line for free housing in one of the most expensive housing markets on the planet,” concluded Craney.

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