GOP candidate for Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker, Democrats spar on homelessness issue

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BOSTON — Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker and Massachusetts Democrats are sparring on the issue of homelessness.

Baker called the number of homeless in Massachusetts "unacceptable." He pointed to a US Department of Housing and Urban Development study that found Massachusetts had one of the nation's highest rates of homelessness.

Baker said he has a plan to help homeless families based on his experience as health and human services secretary for former Gov. William Weld. Baker said the administration was able to move homeless families out of motels and into stable living conditions.

State Sen. Ben Benjamin Downing accused Baker of "sticking his finger in the political wind to find a position."

The Pittsfield Democrat noted that in 2010 Baker proposed requiring those seeking state services like homeless shelters provide proof of Massachusetts residency.

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