During the 2013-2014 session, Jamie filed the following pieces of legislation to promote affordable housing:
An Act relative to affordable housing community planning
This bill will make sensible reforms to the state’s affordable housing law 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. This 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. As with other covenants established in Chapter 183 (such as mortgage covenants) 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 preventing unnecessary vacancies in foreclosed homes
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. In order for the former owner to remain as an occupant after foreclosure, several conditions must be met: (1) the purchaser at foreclosure must be either the holder of the mortgage or in the mortgage business. If someone not in the mortgage business and not connected to the mortgage holder buys the property at foreclosure, that person may file an eviction against the former owner as allowed by current law; (2)The former homeowner must comply with basic occupancy obligations and tenant law, pay the rent (in an amount agreed to between homeowner and lender or, if no agreement, the HUD fair market rent), not cause a nuisance, not commit illegal acts; (3) if the former homeowner does not comply with these standard rules, the purchaser at foreclosure can bring an eviction action against the former homeowner;(4) the purchaser at foreclosure may also bring an eviction action against the former homeowner if there is a binding purchase and sale agreement on the property with a bona fide new owner-occupant or if the property is sold.
An Act designating certain buildings in the town of Acton
The family housing development that is located at 3-14 Sachem Way will be designated and known as McManus Village, in honor of the former Executive Director and her years of dedicated service to the Acton Housing Authority. The affordable rental housing construction, located at 15-26 Sachem Way, will be designated and known as the Whittlesey Village, in honor of the former Chairman and his years of dedicated service to the Acton Housing Authority.
An Act relative to construction defect claims by condominium owners
This bill will clarify that the tolling of the statute of limitations and statute of repose for construction defect claims against a developer by the condominium unit owners will not begin until the developer has turned over control of the condominium association to the unit owners. This bill will correct the serious inequity that currently exists in the law whereby a developer and declarant of a condominium association retains control of the association for an extended period of time, tolling the statute of limitations and statute of repose for construction defect claims, thus, effectively preventing any remedy for condominium unit owners against the declarant/developer for construction defects.