Governor Healey Files Housing Bond Bill
On October 18, 2023, Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll unveiled the Housing Bond Bill or the Affordable Homes Act (H.4138) a comprehensive bill to create smart housing and invest in livable communities.
Materials from the Administration on the Housing Bond Bill or the Affordable Homes Act:
- HLC slides on Housing Bond bill
- Fact Sheet with a brief description of all authorizations, tax credits, policies, and executive orders
- Overview Brief
- Public Housing Brief
- Production & Preservation Brief
- Supporting Vulnerable Populations, First-Time Homebuyers, & Seasonable Communities
- Filing Letter & Bill Language
- Section-By-Section Summary of "Outside" Policy Sections
Here’s a summary from EOHLC on the spending proposals, policy initiatives, and executive orders inside:
$1.6B for Public Housing (Capital)
Supports the repair, rehabilitation, and modernization of over 43,000 public housing units across the Commonwealth; including:
- $150M for projects to decarbonize the public housing stock
- $100M for Public Housing (Mixed-Income Housing Demonstration)
- $15M for accessibility upgrades.
$800M for Affordable Housing Trust Fund
Provides resources to create or preserve affordable housing for households whose incomes are not more than 110% of area median income; includes up to $50M for MassDreams to create first-time homebuyer opportunities for households in Disproportionately Impacted Communities.
$425M for Housing Stabilization and Investment Fund
Consolidates the Housing Stabilization Fund and the Community Investment and Preservation Fund; supports preservation, new construction, and rehabilitation projects.
$275M for Sustainable and Green Housing Initiatives
Consolidates the existing Transit Oriented Housing Program and the Climate Resilient Housing Program; supports innovative solutions to accelerating/unlocking new housing solutions (e.g., office conversions, modular homes); adds language to create a new social housing pilot program.
$200M for Housing Innovations Fund
Supports innovative and alternative forms of rental housing including single-person occupancy (SPO) units, transitional and permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness, housing for seniors and veterans, and transitional units for persons recovering from substance abuse.
$175M for HousingWorks Infrastructure Program
Funds municipal infrastructure projects to encourage denser housing development.
$100M for Mixed-Income Housing Fund
Formerly known as the “Workforce Housing Fund;” funds housing development for households earning up to 120% AMI; administered by MassHousing.
$100M for CommonWealth Builder
Creates a permanent capital resource for an existing MassHousing program recently supported via ARPA funding; the program spurs the construction of affordable single-family homes (for HHs 70-120% AMI) in Gateway Cities and other similar markets.
$70M for Facilities Consolidation Fund
Supports the development of appropriate community-based housing for Department of Mental Health and Department of Developmental Services clients.
$60M for MA Rehabilitation Commission Home Modification Program
Provides funding to modify homes of individuals or families with disabilities or seniors so that they may maintain residency or return home from institutional settings.
$55M for Community-Based Housing
An initiative to support appropriate housing for people with disabilities who are not clients of DMH or DDS.
$50M for the Momentum Fund
A new program that capitalizes on a permanent, revolving fund (administered by MassHousing and seeded through state and private investment) to accelerate the development of mixed-income multifamily housing.
$50M for Neighborhood Stabilization
Funds the acquisition, rehabilitation, and sale of distressed properties.
$50M for Early Education and Out of School Time Grants
Offers grants to help build early education and out-of-school time program facilities that serve low-income, children. These grants are typically included in Housing Bond Bills.
$35M for HousingWorks Housing Choice Grant Program
Provides payments to municipalities that receive a Housing Choice designation through high housing production and/or demonstration of best practices.
$30M for State Surplus Property Disposition
Authorization to support efforts to utilize state surplus land to address housing and other critical needs; sites with existing, obsolete structures such as former hospitals or prisons may need costly demolition or environmental remediation.
$25M for HousingWorks Community Planning Grants
Makes grants to municipalities for planning and zoning initiatives that support housing.
$20M for HousingWorks Smart Growth/40R Program
Provides incentive payments to municipalities who adopt smart growth housing districts, as stipulated in MGL 40R.
Statewide Housing Plan
Adds to EOHLC’s authorizing statute a requirement to prepare a statewide housing plan every 5 years, conducting regional outreach following robust data analysis.
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) As-Of-Right
Permits ADUs (<900 SF) to be built by-right in single-family zoning districts in all communities; prohibits owner occupancy requirements as well as parking mandates within 1⁄2 mile of transit.
Local Option Transfer Fee
Allows municipalities and regional affordable housing commissions (e.g., Cape Cod Commission) to adopt a transfer fee of 0.5% - 2.0%, paid by the seller of real property, on the portion of sale proceeds over $1M or the county median home sales price, whichever is greater. The fee is used for affordable housing development.
Inclusionary Zoning by Simple Majority
Adds inclusionary zoning ordinances and bylaws to the list of zoning changes municipalities can pass by a simple majority instead of a 2/3 super-majority vote of city/town legislative body.
Surplus Public Land Disposition Reforms
Creates paths to streamlined disposition of land under the control of a state agency or quasi for housing purposes.
Public Housing – Regional Housing Authorities
Remove the requirement for a Home Rule Petition if LHAs choose to regionalize with approval from each involved LHA board and EOHLC.
Public Housing – Allowing LHAs to Borrow Against Capital Funding
Allows LHAs, with approval from EOHLC, to raise additional funds for rehabilitation projects by borrowing against their capital funds.
Public Housing – Increasing Availability of Regional Capital Assistance Teams (RCATs)
Allow RCATs to expand their services and capacity by allowing payment for maintenance and operations services not envisioned in the 2014 reform legislation, as well as allowing larger LHAs to join the program if they elect to pay for these services; eliminate the 3 separate advisory boards and replace with 1 advisory board covering the entire RCAT program, with bi-annual meetings.
Public Housing – EOHLC Flexibility to Set Schedule for Agreed-Upon Procedure Audits (to align with LHA performance management reviews)
Amend the public housing statute to allow EOHLC to set its own schedule for performance audits, which would be to follow the same practice as the Performance Management Review – biennial with more frequent follow-up in situations of poor performance.
Public Housing – c. 149 exemption technical fix
Amends the Public Housing filed-sub bid exemption to clarify that the exemption applies to both redevelopment and new development of housing units and removes an extra transfer of ownership between entities before final disposition.
Public Housing – Tenant Protections in LHA Redevelopment
Requires any public housing redevelopment project to (i) ensure certain resident protections; (ii) provide a clear path to enforce protections; (iii) provide for the issuance of regulations and sub-regulatory contracts and forms; (iv) provide that residents should not be adversely affected by the change in subsidy or ownership; (v) provide residents with technical assistance to allow for meaningful input.
Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP)
Amends the AHVP statute to allow for project-based vouchers.
Facilities Consolidation Fund (FCF) – Technical Changes to Prior Authorizations
Amends prior authorizations of FCF to clarify that
(i) FCF loans may be refinanced and
(ii) FCF property owners may transfer an affordable housing restriction to a new property if it is determined that clients will be better served at an alternative property.
Community-Based Housing (CBH) – Technical Changes to Prior Authorizations
Amends prior authorizations of CBH to clarify that (i) CBH loans may be refinanced and (ii) CBH property owners may transfer an affordable housing restriction to a new property if it is determined that clients will be better served at an alternative property.
Housing Innovations Fund (HIF) – Technical Changes to Prior Authorizations
Amends prior authorizations of HIF to clarify that
(i) HIF loans may be refinanced and
(ii) HIF property owners may transfer an affordable housing restriction to a new property if it is determined that clients will be better served at an alternative property.
Updating MassHousing/MHP Enabling Acts with EOHLC
Amends the MassHousing and Massachusetts Housing Partnership enabling acts to replace DHCD with EOHLC.
Amending GLs to incorporate CIPF (MGL 121G) into HSF (MGL 121F)
Combines two EOHLC capital funds into one chapter of the General Laws (the Housing Stabilization Fund and the Capital Improvement and Preservation Fund).
Supportive Housing Pool Fund
Creates a flexible supportive housing pool program to provide critical assistance for supportive housing by funding staffing, case management, service coordination, and other tenancy-related services not funded through other sources.
Receivership Reforms for Affordable Housing
Amends the state’s receivership statute to permit courts to expeditiously approve the sale of vacant properties in receivership to a nonprofit for the fair market value of the property “as is” if the entity will rehabilitate and sell affordably to an income-eligible first-time homebuyer.
Provides a process for tenants to petition the court to seal an eviction record for:
(i) no-fault evictions: after the conclusion of the case;
(ii) solely non-payment evictions: no other eviction action within the past 3
years and judgment for underlying eviction has been satisfied; and
(iii) all other fault evictions: 7 years from the conclusion of the matter and 3 years without any other eviction case filed against the tenant.
Also prohibits consumer reporting agencies from disclosing information in a sealed eviction record.
LHA Replacement Value for Mass. Architectural Access Board (MAAB)
Requires calculation of replacement value for Public Housing for MAAB accessibility threshold to align with requirements governing state-owned properties, basing values on industry standards per a published database.
Commission on Making MA an Age-Friendly State
Creates a Commission to recommend policy, programs, financial and other investments to expand the supply of sustainable, broadly affordable supportive senior housing and address other elder care issues.
Extremely Low-Income (ELI) Housing Commission
Creates a commission to recommend policy, programs, and other investments to expand the supply of housing that is affordable to ELI households (those households earning less than 30% of the Area Median Income).
Seasonal Communities Designation
Creates the framework for designating communities with substantial seasonal variations in employment and housing needs, as a critical initial step to developing programs targeting seasonal communities; creates a Seasonal Communities Coordinating Council to provide advice and recommendations to EOHLC regarding regulations governing the designation of cities and towns as seasonal communities.
Place CEDAC under EOHLC oversight rather than EOED; Repeal CEDAC reporting requirement under EOED Office of Performance Management and Oversight
Amends the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) enabling act to place CEDAC under EOHLC oversight rather than EOED and repeal EOED reporting requirements that are no longer relevant to CEDAC.
Proposed Changes Related to HWIP Statute (technical amendments)
Technical amendments to the new HousingWorks Infrastructure Program to align with grants that support housing.
Establishing the Office of Fair Housing
Establishes an office within EOHLC with an explicit focus on fair housing as an essential element of EOHLC’s mission and establish a trust fund for enforcement initiatives, fair housing testing, education, and outreach.
MassDOT and MBTA Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)
Streamlines procurement requirements for the development or rehabilitation of MassDOT/MBTA-controlled facilities associated with the sale or lease of property.
Homeowner Production Tax Credit
New credit to incentivize the production of homeownership units targeting households with incomes of up to 120% AMI; credit helps cover the gap between the development costs and the state’s estimate of the value of the finished home.
Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC)
Eliminates CITC’s 2025 sunset and expands statewide cap on donations from $12M to $15M; under CITC, individuals donating $1,000 or more to a CDC or nonprofit Community Support Organization that has been awarded CITC receive a credit of 50% of their contribution.
Housing Advisory Council
Calls for immediate work to develop a statewide housing plan and create an advisory council to oversee and advise the development of the plan.
Unlocking Housing Production Commission
Creates a commission to identify ways to streamline housing production and recommend policies, programs, and other investments to improve the development environment and expand the supply of housing.
Identifying Surplus Public Land for Housing
Directs EOHLC and DCAMM, with guidance and direction from the Lieutenant Governor, to develop an expanded inventory of government-controlled property suitable for housing. Calls on state agencies to provide subject matter expertise, information, and data to assist.