BOSTON (WWLP) – The state has seen a flood of migrants over the past several months, and the state is quickly reaching capacity. The state has a legal obligation to provide housing so long as the state’s right-to-shelter law stands.
Massachusetts is a right to shelter state, but Governor Maura Healey warned just last week that the state is running out of room and will be completely out of space by the end of the month.
At last count, the state has 7,089 families, or around 23,000 individuals, currently in emergency housing. About half are children. Governor Healey has said that the state only has room to accommodate 7,500 families which she expects will be reached by the end of the month.
The governor has been adamant that she is not planning on repealing the right to shelter law but is stating that there will not be room for incoming families.
“We’ve reached capacity when it comes to infrastructure, when it comes to personnel, and when it comes to funding, you’re all well aware of the amount of money that has been expended to care for new arrivals. Massachusetts has done its job, and so many have come together to make that possible. We need help from the federal government,” said Governor Healey.
Although she continues to call this a “federal problem” that demands a federal response, she requested $250 million from the legislature in September to help the state shelter system. However, lawmakers have been sitting on her request.
Now, back in August, the Governor said the state was paying $45 million a month to assist families. When asked Monday how much it was currently costing, the governor said around the same, even though there are nearly 1,500 more families in shelter.
Along with funding, Healey continues her call for expedited work permits so those in emergency housing can start making a living, and transition out of emergency shelter.