Families likely to be kicked out of state shelters in September

Families who have been in state-funded shelters for nine months or longer will start to receive notices next month that they are no longer eligible to stay in the system, according to Healey administration officials.

About 4,000 families, including Massachusetts residents and migrants from other countries, have been in emergency shelters for more time than is permitted by law approved earlier this year. Housing officials expect the first families will be kicked out of shelter around Sept. 29.

“This policy is a responsible measure to address the capacity and fiscal constraints of our state’s emergency assistance system,” Gov. Maura Healey said in a statement. “As Congress has repeatedly failed to act on this federal problem, Massachusetts has been going above and beyond – helping thousands of immigrants get work authorizations, jobs and ESOL classes.”

But it is still unclear what other specific criteria the state may be using outside of the length of a family’s stay in shelter to determine which people receive notices first that their time is up.

Senior administration officials said one of the top considerations is the amount of time a family has been in shelter and whether or not they have a stable place to go if they are removed. Officials said they also plan to spread out shelter removals between geographic areas.

At the start, only 150 families will removed from shelters each month before that is eventually ramped up to 150 a week as lawmakers on Beacon Hill originally intended.

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