First, a recap: Last Wednesday, June 5, The MA House of Representatives passed its redraft of Governor Healey’s Affordable Homes Act. It contains good news and bad news.

Good news: a version of  The Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) local option was included  (Thank your Representative! And we have more advocacy to do to keep it in there!).  In addition, we can celebrate the increased investment in public housing, the inclusion of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) by right,  and the creation of an Office of Fair Housing.

Bad news: it did NOT include our other two major priorities, the local option real estate transfer fee for affordable housing or eviction record sealing.   

So now it’s on to the Senate Ways and Means Committee to get these priorities in the Senate proposal!

Please email your Senator (find contact info here).

Dear Senator ____:

I am writing to ask you to urge Senate Ways and Means Chair Rodrigues to include two key western MA priorities in the Senate’s Affordable Homes Act:

1. Eviction Record Sealing: Please include H.4356/HOMES Act with automatic sealing for
eviction cases that are dismissed, decided in a tenant’s favor or are no-fault cases
.  See the factsheet here.

2. The Transfer Fee for Affordable Housing: Please include this real estate transfer fee local option in order to give communities this critical tool to address their local affordable housing crisis.  It is critically important to create a threshold that will make this option available to our western MA communities (e.g., county median home sale price).  Please see this summary from the Local Option for Housing Affordability (LOHA) Coalition of how we can make this local option most effective.

Thank you for your vital action in the face of this pervasive homelessness and housing crisis in our communities.


FYI: we are fortunate to have 3 western MA members on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, including Assistant Vice-Chair Senator Jo Comerford, and members Senator Adam Gomez and Senator Peter Durant. Senator Comerford is lead sponsor of the transfer fee and Senator Gomez is a co-sponsor, so you can adapt with a note of thanks, but truly having them hear from you about this is MOST important (even as champions, it will help them with Senate leadership!).

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