By Bob Katzen
Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law a package funding various state programs to construct and preserve affordable housing.
Provisions include $400 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund that funds a myriad of programs including help for first-time homebuyers; $100 million for the creation of rental housing that is affordable for working families whose incomes are too high for subsidized housing but are priced out of market rents; $600 million to rehabilitate and modernize existing public housing; $60 million for disabled persons and seniors to renovate and modify their homes; and $45 million for grants to non-profits for early education and out-of-school time program facilities that serve low income children.
Tax incentives include extending the Community Investment Tax Credit from December 31, 2019 to December 31, 2025 for taxpayers who make cash contributions to community partners investing in economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income households and providing an additional $5 million per year to the Massachusetts low-income housing tax credit program for projects that preserve and improve existing state or federally assisted housing.
“This bill will help expand our administration’s commitment to ensuring residents across the commonwealth have more access to quality, safe and affordable housing and economic development opportunities,” said Gov. Baker. “Municipalities, developers, and local housing authorities will be supported by a toolbox of flexible resources to create more affordable options and explore new avenues to meet a growing demand.”
“Our goal is to ensure Massachusetts families and residents, despite their income, have access to safe, quality housing they can afford,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Janelle Chan. “Housing, in particular housing affordable to the spectrum of households, drives economic development, supports vibrant and walkable downtowns, promotes neighborhood stability, and enables families and residents to thrive.”