Grafton – Representative Harold P. Naughton Jr. 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.
“By passing this bond bill, we are sending a message that improving housing and the quality of life in our commonwealth remains a top priority,” Naughton said. “I am thankful for my colleagues in the House for backing a bill that supports many great programs. Improving facilities for the disabled and improving upon early education programs are integral to our community.”
“Successful housing finance is a patchwork of state programs, grants, and partnerships,” said Representative Jeffrey Sánchez, House chair of the Joint Committee on Ways & 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 legislation prioritizes numerous programs that support vulnerable residents. The 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; and the 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 the 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 the Housing Stabilization/Investment Trust Fund ($150 million); the Capital Improvement and Preservation Trust Fund ($125 million); and the Housing Innovations Trust Fund ($100 million).
The bill also features numerous tax credits designed to incentivize building, development and investment for a range of projects.
The bill now goes to the Senate.