Representative Joseph McGonagle (D-Everett) joined his colleagues in the House to pass a $1.7 billion housing bond bill to support low and moderate income housing throughout the Commonwealth. The legislation recapitalizes funding for a variety of programs and extends several housing and economic development tax credits.
“With the passage of this bond bill, we renew our commitment to affordable housing,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “I thank Chairs Sánchez, Honan and Cabral and my colleagues in the House for backing a bill that supports many proven programs. I’m particularly proud of the provisions that support housing for those with disabilities and improve facilities used for early education.”
“Successful housing finance is a patchwork of state programs, grants, and partnerships,” said Representative Jeffrey Sánchez, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. “Our bill ensures that the state is able to hold up its end of the deal. But beyond the numbers and spreadsheets, these programs help ensure people can have a place to call home.”
“This bond bill will authorize $1.7 billion dollars over the next five years for the production and preservation of affordable housing, smart growth development, and much needed public housing capital improvements,” said Representative Kevin Honan, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing. “These are critical investments at a time where our dependence on federal funding is uncertain. Housing is the cornerstone of our society and our economy and the provisions of this bill are the tried and true affordable housing tools that are at our disposal.
“Housing prices are climbing and affordable housing options are dwindling throughout the Commonwealth. We must make timely investments and address the issue head-on, especially for our most vulnerable population,” said Representative Antonio F.D. Cabral, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets. “This legislation is a smart step that will ensure the sustainability of our state’s affordable housing stock.”
In his maiden speech to the House of Representatives, Representative McGonagle noted that “The Housing Bond Bill is one of the most impactful pieces of legislation for both the City of Everett and the Commonwealth.” McGonagle, Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing, continued “Because of the high costs of acquisition and construction and the difficulty of financing affordable developments, cities and towns like Everett need funded State initiatives in combination with federal incentives in order to get these projects built.”
This legislation prioritizes numerous programs that support vulnerable residents including:
- Facilities Consolidation Fund – $65 million
▪ Provides funding to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to house individuals receiving services.
- Community-Based Housing – $55 million
▪ Supports integrated housing for people with disabilities.
- Home Modification Loan Program – $60 million
▪ Provides loans and grants to assist homeowners or tenants with disabilities to make their residence more accessible.
The bill also gives DHCD the option to purchase certain housing units designed for community-based DMH housing at appraised value, to preserve affordable housing, within 120 days of the authorization of affordable restrictions.
This bill continues the House’s 2013 landmark creation of the Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund, furthering its commitment to high quality early education and care programming. This $45 million reauthorization provides facility improvement grants for early education and out of school time programs serving low income children.
The legislation authorizes $400 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. This program provides flexible funding to create and preserve affordable housing, ranging from transitional homes for homeless to homeownership programs. It also authorizes $600 million for Public Housing Renovation to help modernize and rehabilitate public housing including updates like the abatement of lead.
Other programs include:
- Housing Stabilization/Investment Trust Fund – $150 million
- Capital Improvement and Preservation Trust Fund – $125 million
- Housing Innovations Trust Fund – $100 million
The bill features numerous tax credits designed to incentivize building, development and investment for a range of projects. Credits include:
- Low Income Housing Tax Credit for investors in qualified, affordable, multifamily rental projects.
- Community Investment Tax Credit – a 50 percent tax credit for individuals who donate to community development corporations.
- Brownfields Tax Credit
- Housing Development Incentive Program to provide tax credits to developers in Gateway Cities
The bill now goes to the Senate.