SECTION 1. Chapter 121B of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 61. (a) The department of housing and community development shall, subject to appropriation, establish and administer the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, a program of rental assistance for low-income families and elderly persons through mobile and project-based vouchers.
(b) To be eligible for the program, (1) incomes for households shall not exceed 50 per cent of the area median income, as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and (2) households shall meet eligibility requirements as required by the Legislature and applicable regulations and guidance.
(c) The monthly dollar amount of each voucher shall be the department-approved monthly rent of the unit less the monthly amount paid for rent by the household, provided that the department may adjust household rent for those paying separately for utilities. Each household holding a voucher shall pay at least 30 percent, but not more than 40 per cent, of its income as rent. The department shall take into consideration the current fair market rent as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development when determining the monthly dollar amount of each voucher.
(d) The department shall promulgate regulations and guidance to implement this section.
(e) The department shall report to the house and senate committees on ways and means and joint committee on housing annually on the utilization of rental vouchers in each fiscal year under this program. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the number and average value of rental vouchers currently distributed in the commonwealth, in each county and in each municipality. The report shall comply with state and federal privacy standards.
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