Local officials are drumming up action on Massachusetts’ housing crisis, from cutting ribbons on new housing units to rallying more than 100 people to push for new legislation.

At the State House Thursday, many legislators hope for a renewed sense of urgency on bills they say would make it easier for families to access services the state already offers. They rallied in the State House’s Great Hall at a legislative action day organized by the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless.

Democratic state Rep. Marjorie Decker, a lead sponsor of a bill to codify the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition program, or RAFT, says it’s a program that ultimately saves the state money. It would cement the already-running program with a state statute and would make benefits available to families and individuals sooner when they’re experiencing housing instability.

Spending money upfront to prevent homelessness is something she hopes the state’s leaders take a strategic view on.

“Making unilateral cuts across agencies does not have a strategic lens in addressing the kind of prevention that we’re looking at,” she said.

State Sen. Robyn Kennedy agreed — that, even if the moral imperative isn’t there, it makes fiscal sense to address homelessness. She says it costs the city of Worcester $45,000 for nine months to provide one family with shelter. The average need for rental assistance for families to stay in their homes is $7,700.

“It’s the math,” she said. “It is not only better and more compassionate and humane to help the families to stay housed, but it saves us money in the long run. And so we need to be talking about not simply creating more restrictions for families but actually helping families stay housed, helping them get long-term sustainability, helping them to grow in their own economic viability, and being able to then be self-sufficient and thrive.”

Mari Brooks, who’s now 20 years old, says she would’ve gotten into stable housing much sooner if the requirements to receive the assistance were less strict. She says one reason she didn’t receive assistance was because she’d never rented a place on her own before, so she didn’t have evidence of past-due rent payments that she needed to qualify for rental assistance.

“I was couch-hopping between friends and staying at shelters that I could get into,” she said. “Oftentimes the shelters were either full or had restrictions. So I was couch-hopping the most.”

Just over a mile away in Back Bay, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu helped cut the ribbon on a historic YWCA building that’s been converted into 210 permanently affordable apartments. She, alongside the state’s Housing and Livable Communities Secretary Ed Augustus and leaders from Beacon Communities, Mount Vernon Company and Pine Street Inn, attended the ceremony.

“Today we are welcoming residents to their official new home,” Wu said. “This is now a building and a home that will span generations of new residents and families in the city of Boston.”

More than a hundred of the units are set aside specifically for residents experiencing homelessness, and Pine Street Inn will be providing supportive services.

Other signs of housing progress emerged earlier this week, too. Eight Greater Boston cities and towns are setting up a joint outreach program that will launch next month to connect residents struggling with homelessness and domestic violence, using close to $2 million federal funds. City and town officials are celebrating the collaboration that they say is necessary to address the housing crisis — along with getting the cost of housing down.

High price tags are another key issue lawmakers want to tackle before the legislative session ends later this year.

One of the priorities was a bill that would reduce the cost of receiving an ID for unhoused people. The “Everyone Needs ID bill” would waive the $25 fee and the requirement to have proof of residency — a significant hurdle for people with unstable housing. The state Senate passed the bill last year, but it has not passed the House.

Democratic state Rep. Kay Khan, a lead sponsor of the bill, emphasized the importance of having an ID.

“What can you do nowadays without an ID?” she said into a microphone. “You can’t get into a public building easily, you can't go to the library to get a book if you want to improve your education. There’s just so many things you can’t do.”

Dem. state Rep. Smitty Pignatelli is a lead sponsor of a bill that would establish a “bill of rights” for people experiencing homelessness, which would affirm their right to privacy of property. He says its passage could impact future sweeps, like those at Mass. and Cass, where the repercussions of eliminating the homeless encampment and getting rid of tents continues to reverberate throughout Greater Boston.