Section 2 of chapter 6A of the General Laws, is hereby amended by adding after the words “transportation and public works” the following words:- “interagency coordination to reduce and prevent homelessness.”
Said chapter 6A is hereby further amended by adding the following section:- Section 105. (a) There shall be an interagency office to coordinate programs to reduce and prevent homelessness. The interagency office shall be run by a Special Secretary pursuant to Section 5 of Chapter 6.
(b) The Special Secretary shall submit a report to the House and Senate within twelve months of enactment including: (1) programs administered through all state agencies that either serve extremely low income families or can be used to address homelessness and prevent homelessness, (2) programs that can be supplemented with federal funding, (3) differences and gaps in program eligibility between identified programs and strategies for aligning eligibility (4) a plan for coordination across agencies to align program eligibility and access for households with extremely low incomes, recommendations for the budget oversight necessary for the Special Secretary to implement plan and necessary legislative and regulatory changes required to implement plan.
(c) The Special Secretary shall create cross-department teams of senior, managerial, and front-line government staff of each department to coordinate across agency lines to solve problems and deploy resources. Agencies shall include, but not be limited to: Department of Housing and Community Development; Executive Office Housing and Economic Development; Executive office of Health and Human Services; Department of Transitional Assistance; Department of Children and Families, Department of Mental Health; Department of Public Health; Department of Developmental Disabilities; Department of Early Education and Care; Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; Department of Corrections; and the Department of Veterans Services; Department of Elder Affairs.
(d) The Special Secretary shall assemble advisory committees who shall represent diverse perspectives on housing instability and homelessness, including families and individuals who have experienced homelessness and housing instability, homelessness coordinators within public school systems, early education and care systems, housing providers, medical and public health professionals, employment service providers, and other service providers. The advisory committee shall help identify current and emerging issues facing families with very low incomes, review drafts of the report and plan developed by the Special Secretary, and provide recommendations.
(e) The Special Secretary for Interagency Coordination on Reducing and Preventing Homelessness position shall sunset on January 1, 2019.
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