Hearing on Bill Easing Requirements for Homeless Families

BOSTON (AP) — Advocates for homeless families are pushing legislation that would remove a requirement that they spend at least one night on the streets before being eligible for emergency shelter.

MassLive.com reports the Joint Committee on Housing was scheduled to hold a hearing on the legislation on Tuesday.

Under regulations adopted as a way to cut shelter costs under former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, families must first stay overnight in a car, bus station, emergency room or other place “not meant for human habitation.” Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has kept the rule in place.

The Baker administration has declined to take a position on the bill.

The Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless estimates the change would cost the state $100,000 to $300,000 per year.

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