Legislation would expand and preserve affordable Housing in Massachusetts

BOSTON– The Joint Committee on Housing held its first public hearing of the session on two major housing bond bills that would provide additional authorization for essential housing production and affordable housing programs.

An Act Financing the Production and Preservation of Housing for Low and Moderate Income Residents (H.3333) filed by Governor Patrick would authorize a $567 million four-year capital plan and carry over $504.5 million in uncommitted funds from the 2008 bond bill for a total of $1,071,500,000.

An Act Financing the Production and Preservation of Housing for Low and Moderate Income Residents (H.1127) filed by Representative Kevin Honan and Senator Jamie Eldridge would authorize a $1.4 million five-year capital plan and extend the Low Income Housing Tax Credit at $20 million, expand the Commercial Area Transit Node Housing Program to include commercial space in mixed-use buildings and establish the Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund, a dedicated source of capital financing for early childhood education and out-of-school time facilities that serve high needs children.

Both bills would allow the state to continue its investment in affordable housing production and preservation and would provide necessary commitments to public housing, affordable housing for low-income and moderate-income residents, and community development for all regions of the Commonwealth.

Joint Committee on Housing Co-Chairs Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) and Representative Kevin Honan (D-Brighton) took testimony from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Undersecretary Aaron Gorenstein, affordable housing advocates and non-profit developers, early education advocates, disability advocates, as well as public housing tenants.

“This hearing provided an opportunity to hear various perspectives on the need to continue investing in the preservation and expansion of affordable housing in the state,” said Senator Eldridge.” The high turnout of stakeholders who came to show their support at the hearing underscores the importance of preserving bond-funded housing programs for Massachusetts families for generations to come.”

“I was very pleased by the large turnout and enthusiastic support for the affordable housing bond bill,” said Representative Honan. “It certainly was a great way to begin this legislative session for our committee. The bills that were discussed today are so important to ensuring that Massachusetts has the capacity to build and maintain affordable housing for our residents.”

The housing bond bills will now be reviewed by the Joint Committee on Housing with the plan of reporting out a unified bill later in the year.

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