During the 2011-2012 session, Jamie filed the following pieces of legislation to promote affordable housing:
This bill adds a section to the Massachusetts foreclosure law to allow homeowners and their families to remain in their homes and pay rent after foreclosure under certain limited circumstances for a limited period of time. This is important because often foreclosed homes remain vacant for months or even years, resulting in an adverse effect on the neighborhood and surrounding community.
This bill would require that a bank or lender prove that they are the holder of a mortgage and provide the specifics of the borrower’s default before they can foreclose on a home. A bank or lender who cannot prove this would be denied the right to foreclose unless the case is brought to court where a judge would scrutinize the paperwork, and the borrower has the right to notice and an appearance. This bill was filed in light of the recent Supreme Judicial Court decision invalidating certain foreclosures in the Commonwealth because the lenders failed to prove they were the holders of the mortgages and unjustly foreclosed on a number of homes.
This legislation would make sensible reforms to the state’s affordable housing law, Chapter 40B, including provisions that passed the House of Representatives in May 2004, that will help communities more reasonably reach the state’s 10% affordable housing requirement.
An Act relative to creating a statutory housing restriction and providing remedies related to statutory housing
This bill is a creative response to the difficulties faced by municipalities in crafting durable affordable housing restrictions that assure properties will remain affordable for persons of modest means through successive transactions and as the value of real estate goes up. The bill will create in the General Laws an “estate in land” (to be known as the Statutory Housing Covenant) that would limit the property to a certain value (the affordable value) for use as owner-occupied affordable housing. Use of the statutory housing restriction would not be mandatory, but would provide a new tool that may eventually lead to more uniformity in housing restrictions. In addition, the bill provides protections for mortgagees who lend on the affordable value.
An Act relative to excess profits resulting from 40B developments
This bill would prohibit developers who have been found to have defrauded cities and towns of excess profits earned from 40B developments from building any additional 40B developments for a period of 5 years.
An Act authorizing municipal audits of 40B Developments
This bill would allow the cities and towns of the Commonwealth to audit 40B developments if a state or state authorized organization is not auditing those developments.
An Act to ensure proper notice of rent and fee increases in manufactured housing establishments
This bill would allow the Attorney General to assess higher penalties for violations of the statutes that require mobile home owners to give proper notice to residents of fee and rent increases.