On January 6, the Legislature sent its final Economic Development Bill (H.5250) to the Governor. Among many important provisions, this bill includes eviction record sealing, a top Network priority that is now at the cusp of coming to fruition. Thank you Western MA legislators for your leadership! Thank you Network partners for your advocacy! And now the Governor has 10 days from the Legislature’s passage to sign or veto the bill. We need to help close this deal with your calls and emails to the Governor TODAY!
You can email the Governor. You can call the Governor:
Constituent Services Main Office (617) 725-4005; Mon. – Fri., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Toll-free in Massachusetts (888) 870-7770; Mon. – Fri., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Springfield Office (413) 784-1200 Mon. – Fri., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
However you do it, ask Governor Baker to sign this bill into law with all the housing provisions and that eviction record sealing protections are especially vital right now. Your communication will make a difference!
Thanks to CHAPA for this summary below of the housing provisions CHAPA and the Network support in the Economic Development Bill:
Implements zoning reform to make it easier for communities to approve smart growth zoning and affordable housing by lowering the required vote threshold for a range of housing-related zoning changes and special permits at the local level from a two-thirds supermajority to a simple majority.
Multifamily Zoning in MBTA Communities
Requires communities with MBTA stations to establish zoning for multi-family housing as-of-right in at least one district of reasonable size.
State Low-income Housing Tax Credit
Increases the annual state low-income housing tax credit program cap from $20 million to $40 million to increase housing production for people with low incomes.
Allows judges to require non-municipal parties who appeal special permits, site plan review, and variances to post a bond up to $50,000 to secure statutory costs. This will discourage frivolous lawsuit brought only to slow or stop new housing development.
Local Housing Authority Board Member Elections
Creates a process for residents of local housing authorities to be appointed to the boards of their housing authority.
Eviction Record Sealing
Seals all no-fault eviction records. Also prohibits minors from being named in a summary process summons and requires expungement of the names of any minors from any court record or electronic docket.
Transit-Oriented Housing Developments
Authorizes $50 million in capital grants and loans for transit-oriented housing and the production of high-density mixed-income affordable housing near transit.
Climate-Resilient Affordable Housing Developments
Authorizes $10 million in capital funds for sustainable and climate-resilient construction in affordable, multifamily housing developments to better respond to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Authorizes $50 million in capital funds for neighborhood stabilization to help return blighted or vacant housing back to productive use.