House takes action on affordable housing

On February 8, 2018, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Rep. Mike Connolly joined his Cambridge and Somerville colleagues to pass a $1.7 billion housing bond bill to support investments in low and moderate income housing throughout the Commonwealth. The legislation recapitalizes funding for a variety of programs and extends several affordable housing tax credits.

“As the only member of the legislature who serves on both the Joint Committee on Housing and the House Committee on Bonding, I am proud of our efforts to deliver this extraordinary package of investments and incentives for affordable housing in Cambridge, Somerville, and across the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Connolly.

“The programs funded by this bill helped build the 100% affordable Port Landing development and preserve affordable housing at Bishop Allen Apartments, both in my district, and I am certain this bill will lead to the production and preservation of many thousands of additional units of affordable housing over the next five years,” continued Rep. Connolly.

Rep. Connolly is also pleased that the House adopted a Rep. Peake amendment he co-sponsored. This amendment will boost the Community Investment Tax Credit up to $12 million per year by 2025.

In addition, the Housing Bond Bill prioritizes numerous programs that support vulnerable residents, including: 1) $65 million for the Facilities Consolidation Fund which provides funding to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to house individuals receiving services, 2) $55 million for Community-Based Housing which supports integrated housing for people with disabilities, and 3) $60 million for the Home Modification Loan Program which provides loans and grants to assist homeowners or tenants with disabilities to make their residence more accessible.

The legislation authorizes $400 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. This program provides flexible funding to create and preserve affordable housing, ranging from transitional homes for homeless to homeownership programs. It also authorizes $600 million for Public Housing Renovation to help modernize and rehabilitate public housing including updates like the abatement of lead.

“This is a giant step forward for the production and preservation of affordable housing in our community and across Massachusetts, but ultimately we must continue working to enshrine housing as a human right and ensure everyone has a place to call home” Connolly concluded.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

— Office of State Representative Mike Connolly

 

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