A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action

Massachusetts Community Action Trust Fund

Massachusetts Bill HD.783

(proposed state legislation)

sBill HD.783
An Act to address inequality, promote opportunity, and end poverty

See lines 108-117 for provision for state community service block grant appropriation, which includes not less than two percent to be provided to MASSCAP to provide T&T/A to CAAs in Massachusetts.

Community Action Trust Fund

Excerpts from Bill HD.783

There shall be a separate fund to be known as the Community Action Trust Fund to Address Inequality, Promote Opportunity, and End Poverty which shall be sited within the Department of Housing and Community Development.  The Department shall administer the fund, according to guidelines promulgated by the Department and in consultation with the advisory committee.  The fund shall assist in the creation of projects to assist low income individuals and families in the commonwealth out of poverty, for the benefit of households 4 whose incomes are not more than 200 per cent of the federal poverty level as determined by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. T he fund shall be an expendable trust fund and shall not be subject to appropriation.  (lines 118-126)

There shall be credited to the fund, revenue from appropriations or other monies authorized by the general court and specifically designated to be credited to the fund and other monies may be utilized, including gifts, grants, private contributions, and all other sources.  Money remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund...  (lines 127-130)

The agency shall administer assistance from the fund using only the criteria set forth under this chapter for projects sponsored by MASSCAP or Community Action Agencies. The Department may enter into agreements with MASSCAP or Community Action Agencies to administer assistance from the fund for projects that may be developed and implemented in partnership with other nonprofit organizations, after consulting the advisory committee established by this section.  (lines 133-138)

The fund shall finance innovative community based programs and services that address current and emerging needs that to have a measurable impact on alleviating the causes of poverty. Activities eligible for assistance from the fund include, but are not limited to:

(1) Projects to assist low-income participants;
(2) Projects to secure and maintain meaningful employment;
(3) Projects to offer financial education;
(4) Projects to help families avoid homelessness;
(5) Projects to offer energy assistance and weatherization services
(6) Projects to offer emergency assistance to meet immediate and urgent individual and family needs;
(7) Projects to help individuals attain an adequate education.

There shall be established an advisory committee to the fund, which shall make policy recommendations to the department of housing and community development regarding the fund’s program and funding activities.  (lines 139-152)

News Coverage

Community groups seek larger role in fighting poverty
The Sun -Lowell, MA (State House News Service) – Community action groups often associated with getting heating assistance to people who need it want the Legislature to give them a broader mission that reflects their efforts in areas like food assistance and financial literacy.

Sen. Michael Moore and Rep. Tackey Chan urged their colleagues Tuesday to pass a bill to provide resources to the state's 23 community action agencies and update state laws to reflect a holistic approach to services by creating a line item to administer flexible funding. This is the third time Chan has filed the legislation.

The bill, an Act to Address Inequality, Promote Opportunity and End Poverty, would also establish a trust fund to finance innovative, community-based programs and services, change language to reflect the Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP) as the center for anti-poverty in Massachusetts, and form a council to review current programs and recommend improvements...

2018 MASSCAP Poverty Report

Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward - MASSCAP Poverty Report
Virtual CAP blog posting, May 2018

Road to Opportunity Newsletter Series


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