Governor Healey Responds to the Affordable Housing Crisis
On October 18, Governor Healey released the Administration’s comprehensive housing bond bill, the Affordable Housing Act, which proposes an unprecedented $4 billion investment, along with significant policy changes, to address the affordable housing crisis.
You can read the Governor’s press release and the bill’s summary factsheet here. Several highlights below:
- $1.6 billion to repair and rehabilitate public housing
- $800 million to create or preserve affordable housing
- $200 million for rental, single room occupancy and permanent supportive housing for “people experiencing homelessness, housing for seniors and veterans, and transitional units for persons recovering from substance use disorder”
- the creation of a flexible supportive housing pool program to provide critical assistance for supportive housing
- eviction record sealing (more study of its terms and likely requested amendments to come)
- real estate transfer fee for affordable housing (with the unfortunate caveat that this proposal requires property sales to be over $1 million for it to apply, excluding almost all western MA communities – more to come on that, too)
- so much more!!! Be sure to scan the factsheet to get a sense of the depth and breadth
Overall, this bill is an exciting step towards meeting the extreme affordable housing challenge facing western Massachusetts and the Commonwealth as a whole. And it is just the start of a lengthy process, now moving to the Legislature for consideration where our collective input and advocacy will be critically important.
We will be in touch as more information and next steps emerge. For now, take a look at this proposal, and feel some hope!