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Our Impact

MLRI plays a crucial role at both the state and national levels. We routinely look to them for policy innovations and creative ideas that can be used in other states. And we rely upon their outstanding legal and technical analysis to help develop and expand our own ideas. The state coalitions of advocates that MLRI leads, combined with their strong working relationship with elected and human services officials, sets the standard for a state advocacy and policy shop.”  

-Robert Greenstein, Executive Director
 Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Washington, D.C.

For over four decades, MLRI has been a leader in advancing groundbreaking policies, reforms and regulations that benefit low-income individuals and families.  These include, for example:

  • Legislation (Chapter 40B) mandating changes to local zoning regulations which has been directly responsible for the creation of more than 50,000 units of affordable housing in Massachusetts
  • Reform of the state’s Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system
  • Extensive litigation saving public benefits and health care programs from cutbacks
  • An extremely successful effort to address hunger and food insecurity by greatly expand food stamp participation in Massachusetts
  • Utility service regulations and policies that are among the most favorable to residential customers in the U.S.
  • Class action relief safeguarding the right of persecution victims to work and obtain permanent immigration status in the U.S.
  • Laws improving the legal rights of tenants
  • Laws protecting victims of domestic violence
  • Numerous public assistance policies and procedures designed to protect people against unfair denials and terminations of their benefits

Along with its legal and policy advocacy, MLRI also provides assistance, training and support to client-based legal services organizations so they may better serve their constituencies.  A recent assessment of MLRI conducted by three experienced national peer reviewers affirmed that MLRI “is one of the premier state support centers in the country” and “remains the backbone of the Massachusetts civil legal aid delivery system.”