On Monday March 5, the Joint Housing Committee issued a “favorable report” on Governor Healey’s Affordable Homes Act, the $4.1 billion Housing Bond Bill that also includes significant Network priority policy changes such as the transfer fee for affordable housing and eviction record sealing. 

The good news is that the Committee moved the bill forward (and nothing was taken out);  the disappointing news is that the Committee made none of the recommended changes to make the bill better in general and specifically for western Massachusetts.

But plenty of opportunity remains to make those changes happen!  The bill now moves to the Joint Committee on Bonding (and after that the Ways and Means Committee and the House and then Senate) where we will join with our partners statewide to make our case as strong and clear as possible.

Meanwhile, our western MA legislators continue to advocate right now!  Most recently, many in our delegation who are members of the Rural Caucus joined together to send a letter to legislative leaders to advocate for changes that would make the bill more responsive to rural communities’ unique needs.  Special thanks to our western MA signers: Senators Comerford and Oliveira and Representatives Ashe, Barrett, Blais, Boldyga, Domb, Pignatelli, Saunders and Whipps.  

We are grateful for our legislators’ leadership and look forward to continuing the push together to make this bill do all it can for the people in our region and beyond.

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