Lawmakers Debating Solutions to Strained Shelter System

Photo courtesy of Alexius Horatius

YARMOUTH – Lawmakers in the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives are working on reconciling their budget plans as the state’s emergency shelter system continues to buckle under the recent influx of migrant families.

Both the Senate and House have put forth plans that would put a maximum on how long families can stay of nine months, but a few differences need to be ironed out before the bill can get Governor Maura Healey’s signature.

The House proposal would cover costs through June for a total of $245 million dollars, with the Senate’s larger proposal of $825 million covering until the summer of next year.

Meanwhile, the Yarmouth Zoning Board of Appeals says local sheltering efforts have technically crossed the maximum time allowed by local bylaws.

Migrant families at Harborside Suites in Yarmouth have been staying since September of last year, but local rules say that only stays of up to 30 days are allowed, raising discussion around how the migrant state-of-emergency declared by Gov. Healey intersects with local ordinance.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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