House Approves $1.7 Billion Housing Bond Bill

Representative Mike Connolly joined his Cambridge and Somerville colleagues to pass a $1.7 billion housing bond bill to support investments in low and moderate income housing throughout the Commonwealth. The legislation recapitalizes funding for a variety of programs and extends several affordable housing tax credits.

“As the only member of the legislature who serves on both the Joint Committee on Housing and the House Committee on Bonding, I am proud of our efforts to deliver this extraordinary package of investments and incentives for affordable housing in Cambridge, Somerville, and across the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Connolly.

“The programs funded by this bill helped build the 100% affordable Port Landing development and preserve affordable housing at Bishop Allen Apartments, both in my district, and I am certain this bill will lead to the production and preservation of many thousands of additional units of affordable housing over the next five years,” continued Rep. Connolly.

Rep. Connolly is also pleased that the House adopted a Rep. Peake amendment he co-sponsored. This amendment will boost the Community Investment Tax Credit up to $12 million per year by 2025.

In addition, the Housing Bond Bill prioritizes numerous programs that support vulnerable residents, including:

  • 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.
  • 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 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 also supports the Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund, furthering the Commonwealth’s 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:

  • Housing Stabilization/Investment Trust Fund - $150 million
  • Capital Improvement and Preservation Trust Fund - $125 million
  • Housing Innovations Trust Fund - $100 million

The bill features numerous tax credits designed to incentivize building, development and investment for a range of projects. Credits include:

  • Low Income Housing Tax Credit for investors in qualified, affordable, multifamily rental projects.
  • Community Investment Tax Credit - a 50 percent tax credit for individuals who donate to community development corporations.
  • Brownfields Tax Credit
  • Housing Development Incentive Program to provide tax credits to developers in Gateway Cities

There are lots of thanks to go around, but first and foremost Rep. Connolly would like to thank the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing, Rep. Honan and his staff, the Chair of the Joint Committee on Bonding, Rep. Cabral and his staff, as well as the the Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Rep. Sánchez, and the Speaker of the House, Robert DeLeo, for their leadership. Rep. Connolly would like to also extend a warm congratulations and thanks to local groups A Better Cambridge and The Cambridge Residents Alliance, and especially the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) for their advocacy and work on this legislation.

The bill now goes to the Senate.