The long-awaited Economic Development bill passed the Legislature yesterday, and now awaits the Governor’s signature.
Unfortunately, this version (unlike the previous iteration proposed in July) does NOT include the HOMES Act for eviction record sealing , one of the Network’s top legislative priorities. This is deeply disappointing, and we will continue to partner with the statewide HOMES Coalition to push for action in the remaining informal session and if necessary, upon the start of the next Legislative session in January, 2023.
In good news, the bill includes $409.5 million in housing investments, including:
- $25 million for regional low threshold housing to support homeless or housing unstable individuals with substance use disorder (kudos to all of our advocacy, regionally and statewide!)
- $20 million for housing options and additional support services and resources to address the needs of immigrants and refugees
- $304.5 million to support and boost housing production, including:
- $100 million for the Commonwealth Builder Program to support the production of for-sale, below market housing to expand homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers and socially disadvantaged individuals in communities disproportionately impacted by the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic
- $100 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund established to support the creation and preservation of affordable housing
- $100 million to support the production of workforce housing
- $50 million for the Equitable Developers Financing Program to support the development of new housing in certain underserved communities
- $10 million for public housing redevelopment
You can also see CHAPA’s summary here.
Special thanks to our Western MA legislators for their steadfast advocacy to prevent and end homelessness in our region. We appreciate the progress made with these investments and look forward to continuing the work together.