Senate Passes $1.4 Billion Housing Bond Bill

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
MASSACHUSETTS SENATE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133-1053

Senator Joan B. Lovely
State Senator
2nd Essex District
Phone: (617) 722-1410
Email: joan.lovely@masenate.gov

PRESS RELEASE:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SENATE PASSES $1.4 BILLION HOUSING BOND BILL

(Boston) The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill authorizing $1.4 billion in capital spending over the next five years to fund the production and preservation of affordable housing in the Commonwealth, Senator Joan Lovely announced.

“We need to make sure that Massachusetts is a place where people of all economic backgrounds can live and thrive, and this legislation helps make that possible,” said Senator Lovely. “Providing housing that is affordable is a necessity for balanced economic growth, and it’s that type of growth that makes our communities stronger.”

“This legislation takes an important step to preserve our existing housing options and support the growth of affordable housing for many of our most vulnerable populations,” Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said. “This bill will spur local economic development, create jobs and help our communities meet their housing needs.”

The legislation establishes the Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund to provide grants to non-profit childcare organizations for capital improvements to their facilities. Eligible providers must reserve at least 25 percent of their childcare slots for families receiving a public subsidy.

This plan also allows for development projects that are within a half-mile of a mass transit hub to be eligible for funding by expanding the definition of transit-oriented development in the MassWorks Infrastructure Program.

The capital plan includes:

• $55 million for a home modification program for blind and severely disabled homeowners;
• $47 million for a loan program to provide community-based or supportive housing for individuals with mental illness or intellectual disabilities;
• $38 million for a loan program for community-based or supportive housing for individuals with disabilities who are institutionalized or at-risk of being institutionalized;
• $305 million to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to create and preserve affordable housing for households at or under 110 percent of the area median income;
• $135 million to the Housing Stabilization and Investment Trust Fund for acquisition, preservation and rehabilitation of affordable housing;
• $500 million for repairs and improvements to public housing;
• $50 million for a five-year grant program within the Department of Housing and Community Development to test cost-effective revitalization methods for family and elderly-disabled public housing;
• $80 million to the Housing Innovations Trust Fund to support innovative and alternative forms of housing;
• $100 million to the Capital Improvement and Preservation Trust Fund to purchase housing whose affordability restrictions have expired or are expiring;
• $45 million to develop residential housing and mixed-use and transit-oriented developments; and,
• $45 million for the Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund.

In addition, the bill requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to file an annual capital plan with the Legislature.

The Senate bill and the House bill will now go to a conference committee to produce a compromise bill for final passage and consideration of the governor.

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