Action Alert: Contact Legislature to Support ELI Housing & Down Payment Assistance in Supplemental Budget

On September 6, Governor Baker filed a supplemental budget to close out FY2019, which ended with a major revenue surplus. The Governor proposed $10 million to support new production of affordable housing for those with extremely low-incomes (ELI) - or those at or below 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI). The Governor's budget also proposed $10 million to support a down payment assistance program for low- and moderate-income first time homebuyers.

Please help us secure this funding in the supplemental budget by emailing the House and Senate today asking them to support this funding for our lowest-income households and for affordable homeownership!

The supplemental budget will be led through the Legislature by House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka, House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michelwitz, and Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael Rodrigues.

To contact these key legislators, copy and paste these emails into a message:

robert.deleo@mahouse.gov, karen.spilka@masenate.gov, aaron.m.michlewitz@mahouse.gov, michael.rodrigues@masenate.gov

You can then copy and paste this sample letter into the body of the email - please feel free to edit and personalize the message!

Dear Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Spilka, Chairman Michlewitz, and Chairman Rodrigues,

I am writing to ask you to support including $10 million to help produce housing for those with extremely low incomes (ELI) and $10 million for a down payment assistance program in the FY2019 supplemental budget. The Governor included this funding for ELI housing, line-item 1595-0508, and for down payment assistance, line-item 7004-1010, in his budget proposal. 

As our housing affordability crisis grows and impacts those with the lowest incomes the most, I hope that you include funding for ELI housing in the supplemental budgets passed by the House and Senate. The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual report on the shortage of ELI homes finds that Massachusetts has a statewide shortage of 169,809 units that are affordable to ELI households. A 2019 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston reinforced this data on the shortage of ELI Housing. Also, there are about 313,000 ELI renter households with 59% pay more than half their income on housing.

Supporting affordable homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income households in Massachusetts will help families build wealth while strengthening our communities. Unfortunately, it has become harder and harder for young adults, first time homebuyers, and others without significant wealth to buy a home in Massachusetts as the housing market has tightened. These challenges exacerbate economic inequality. By funding down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers, we can help address these challenges.

In order to help create more opportunities for safe, healthy, and affordable homes for our lowest-income households and for potential homeowners, I respectfully request that you include $10 million for ELI housing and $10 million for down payment assistance in the supplemental budget. Thank you.

Sincerely,

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