Legislature Approves Housing Bond Bill

Legislature Approves Housing Bond Bill

$1.4 billion investment in affordable housing pledged over five years

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 11, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — This week, the House and Senate enacted the $1.4 billion housing bond bill.  The bill, which is now before Governor Patrick for his signature, is the largest housing bond bill ever passed and is critical to ensuring that the state has the resources over the next five years to provide additional affordable housing opportunities for families, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

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The $1.4 billion five-year authorizing legislation includes the following investments:

  • $500 million to invest in public housing.  The Commonwealth has over 50,000 units of state-owned public housing, approximately 33,000 units of which house low income elderly residents. This funding will ensure that this housing stock is adequately maintained and preserved. In addition, the legislation includes $50 million for a Public Housing Demonstration Program to try to craft innovative ways to build and manage public housing.
  • $47 million for the Facilities Consolidation Fund and $38 million for Community Based Housing to provide additional housing opportunities for people with disabilities; $55 million for Home Modification Loan Program to provide resources for residents with disabilities to make the modifications necessary for them to continue living at home.
  • $305 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, $135 million for the Housing Stabilization Fund, $80 million for the Housing Innovations Fund and $20 million per year for Massachusetts Low Income Housing Tax credits through 2020. These programs provide additional resources to create affordable rental and homeownership opportunities across the Commonwealth.
  • $100 million for the Capital Improvement and Preservation Fund to ensure that the state, municipalities, and nonprofits have the resources to purchase deed restricted properties that are in danger of losing their affordability when the restrictions expire.
  • $45 million for the Commercial Area Transit Node Housing Program to produce housing in commercial areas served by public transit. New language has been included to allow for funding of commercial space within mixed-use developments.
  • $45 million for the Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund, a new program, for nonprofit providers serving low income children, to build facilities or renovate existing buildings in order to provide children and teachers with safe, healthy environments. The program will be administered by the Department of Early Education and Care.

Language added during the House and Senate debate weakening the state’s Affordable Housing Law, Chapter 40B, and changing immigration policy as it relates to public housing was not included in the final bill.

CHAPA thanks the members of the Legislature for passing the strongest housing bond bill in Massachusetts history. Special thanks to Senate President Therese Murray, Speaker Robert DeLeo, and to conference committee members Representative Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill), Representative Kevin Honan (D-Brighton), Representative Todd Smola (R-Palmer), Senator Stephen Brewer (D-Barre), Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), and Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester).

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