The Healey-Driscoll Administration unveiled a $4 billion plan to jumpstart the production of homes and make housing more affordable across Massachusetts. The Affordable Homes Act, a comprehensive package of spending, policy and programmatic actions, represents the largest proposed investment in housing in the state’s history while simultaneously striking at the root causes of housing unaffordability and making progress on the state’s climate goals.
Many of the provisions support age-friendly policies, such as permitting accessory dwelling units – or ADUs at or below 900 square feet – to be built by-right in single-family zoning districts in all communities and prohibits owner occupancy requirements as well as parking mandates within ½ mile of transit.
Overall, this multi-pronged approach includes $4 billion in capital spending authorizations, 28 substantive policy changes or initiatives, three executive orders and two targeted tax credits. All are directed at reducing barriers to the production and preservation of housing, and giving communities the tools to develop more housing where they need it. The majority of the spending will have benefits for moderate- and low-income households.
The policy initiatives also include convening a commission specifically for recommending “policy, programs, financial and other investments to expand the supply of sustainable, broadly affordable supportive senior housing and address other elder care issues.”
A total of $1.83 billion would be directed to housing production and preservation in Massachusetts. Highlights include:
- $800 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to provide resources to create or preserve affordable housing for households whose incomes are not more than 110 percent of area median income; includes up to $50 million for MassDreams to create first-time homebuyer opportunities for households in Disproportionately Impacted Communities.
- $425 million for Housing Stabilization and Investment Fund to support preservation, new construction, and rehabilitation projects.
- $175 million for HousingWorks Infrastructure Program to fund municipal infrastructure projects to encourage denser housing development.
- $100 million for CommonWealth Builder to spur construction of affordable homeownership opportunities.
- $100 million for Mixed-Income Housing to support middle-income housing production.
- $50 million for the Momentum Fund – a new pioneering initiative designed to leverage state resources to support large scale, mixed-income multifamily development.
More information is available in the Affordable Homes Act fact sheet here.