As you may know, the Governor’s $4.1 billion housing bond bill, the Affordable Homes Act, was reported out of the Housing Committee and the Bonding Committee without any changes. 

The bill is now in the House Ways and Means Committee where it is likely to be taken up and voted on by the House during the week of May 20.

Starting now, through their scheduled vote, the House leaders and your state representatives need to hear from us about the changes we need.

Here is a “copy and paste” (adapt as you wish!) to key legislators—with email addresses below—of the Network’s priority asks:

Dear House Leaders:

Please support the following amendments to the Affordable Homes Act:

  • Transfer Fee for Affordable Housing: See our 4 requested amendments here by the LOHA Coalition. We MUST change the threshold for enacting a transfer fee (currently at a $1m home sale) in order to make the transfer fee at all useful in western Massachusetts. Also see the FAQ on the transfer fee here.
  • Eviction Record Sealing: Substitute Section 47 in H.4138/Housing Bond Bill with the H.4356/HOMES Act (see factsheet to explain more here) and provide automatic sealing for eviction cases that are dismissed, decided in a tenant’s favor or are no-fault cases. The current proposals require the tenant to petition the court to seal in all cases, creating a new barrier to housing. Access to housing and administrative efficiency together compel the adoption of automatic sealing.
  • Flex Pool for Permanent Supportive Housing: Insert language from H. 1354/S.855 into Chapter 21H in H.4138/Housing Bond Bill (see factsheet to explain more here)  to make supportive housing opportunities available and more responsive to the growing number of people who need it. 
  • Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA): Include the TOPA bill (S.880/H.135) to give communities the local option to preserve housing affordability by providing tenants or their designee the right of first refusal to buy their buildings when they are put up for sale by matching the purchasing price (see factsheet here).
  • Western Massachusetts Housing Coalition PrioritiesPlease go here for the list of additional western MA-specific amendments that will meet the unique needs of more rural regions.

Thank you for your consideration.
[your name and address]

Please send to:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
AND please copy your own representative (find their contact info here).

AND one more thing: Progressive MA has provided us this excellent 1 minute action tool to contact your own State Representative on the Transfer Fee. GO HERE to use it!

And if you want that satisfaction of saying: DID IT, we are here and grateful for it! Just submit our contact form to let us know.

This is a big time with high stakes. Let’s show up for it!

Thank you for your partnership.

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