Policy Agenda

AHMA supports the following bills in the current (2021-2022) Massachusetts legislative session.

TOP PRIORITY

ENDING EXCLUSIONARY ZONING & BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOMES

HB1448 / SB871 – An Act relative to housing production

Sponsors: Rep. Andres  Vargas (D) / Sen. Brendan Crighton (D)

The Big Toolkit Massachusetts Needs to Build More Homes

Don’t be fooled by the wonky name, (HB1448/SB871) An Act Relative to Housing Production* is a comprehensive reform bill packed with the tools Massachusetts needs to increase the production of all types of housing in all corners of the Commonwealth. This past year MA made some progress with the Housing Choice bill and the MBTA Communities Multifamily Zoning Law but you can’t build a home with just two tools. We need more.

Click here to read MA’s fact sheet on HB1448/SB871


OTHER BILLS WE SUPPORT

ENDING EXCLUSIONARY ZONING & BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOMES

HB2890 / SB1853 – An Act providing for climate change adaptation infrastructure and affordable housing investments in the Commonwealth

Sponsor: Rep. Nika Elugardo (D) / Sen. James B. Eldridge

Summary: Raises the Deeds Excise Tax from $4.56 per $1,000 of value to $9.12 per $1,000 to generate an additional $300 million in revenue to be split evenly between affordable housing and climate resilience programs.

SB858 – An Act relative to zero parking development

“Sent to study” by Legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing. Will not proceed this legislative session.

Sponsor: Sen. Joseph  Boncore (D)

Summary: Allow zoning for as-of-right multifamily housing without minimum parking requirements to be adopted with a simple majority vote in all municipalities.

HB1414 – An Act to expedite multifamily housing construction

“Sent to study” by Legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing. Will not proceed this legislative session.

Sponsor: Rep. Kevin G. Honan (D)

Summary: Requires that 1.5% of the developable land in a city or town be part of a zoning district that allows multifamily development. Further removes the requirement for a special permit for cluster developments and allows such to be built by right in residential zoning districts at the density permitted.

SB857 – An Act commissioning a study to increase regional housing production

“Sent to study” by Legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing. Will not proceed this legislative session.

Sponsor: Sen. Joseph Boncore (D)

Summary: Establishes a commission to research and establish regional housing production goals to meet a statewide housing need of no less than 430,000 new housing units by the year 2030.

SB864 – An Act creating a multi-family housing incentive pilot program

“Sent to study” by Legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing. Will not proceed this legislative session.

Sponsor: Sen. Harriette L. Chandler (D)

Summary: Establishes and regulates a transit-oriented housing development pilot program to offer incentives to cities and towns to zone for substantial multifamily housing or mixed-use development in suitable locations, by funding transportation infrastructure projects in or near those zoning districts.


DESEGREGATION

SB870 – An Act establishing a special commission to study racial segregation in housing and public schools

Sponsor: Sen. Brendan  Crighton (D)

Summary: Establish a committee to  with the purpose to make policy recommendations to: (i) combat the causes of housing segregation and increase racial integration in cities and towns; (ii) eliminate or significantly reduce interdistrict and intradistrict racial segregation, including at the school and classroom level; and (iv) to promote, as part of school integration plans, the development of racially inclusive school climates. Includes exclusionary zoning and inadequate public transportation as areas to be studied.

HB1373 / SB867 – An Act promoting fair housing by preventing discrimination against affordable housing

Sponsor: Rep. Christine  Barber (D) / Sen. Sonia R. Chang-Diaz (D)

Summary: Massachusetts has high levels of residential segregation. Restrictive local zoning and permitting decisions have helped create and perpetuate these patterns based on race, socioeconomic status, and familial status. These bills would prohibit municipal and state discriminatory zoning bylaws, ordinances, and land use decisions.

HB1441 / SB861 – An Act to affirmatively further fair housing

“Sent to study” by Legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing. Will not proceed this legislative session.

Sponsor: Rep. David M. Rogers (D) / Sen. Joseph Boncore (D)

Summary: Establishes a duty under state law for the state, cities/towns, and other public entities to “affirmatively further fair housing” and not discriminate in any of their programs. Creates a commission to determine how public entities shall fulfill this obligation to create diverse and inclusive communities with access to good jobs, schools, health care, transportation and housing.

SB860 – An Act An act prohibiting discriminatory effects in housing and community development

“Sent to study” by Legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing. Will not proceed this legislative session.

Sponsor: Sen. Joseph Boncore (D)

Summary: This legislation creates a state fair housing disparate impact standard to protect against housing discrimination. This will allow people to challenge a housing policy or program that has a discriminatory impact on them because of their race, sex, gender identity, disability, family status, or other protected class — even if the policy or program appears on its face to apply to everyone equally.


TENANT PROTECTION

HB1808 / SB921 – An Act promoting housing opportunity and mobility through eviction sealing (HOMES)

Sponsor: Rep. Michael J. Moran (D) / Sen. Joseph Boncore (D)

Summary: As soon as an eviction case is filed, a tenant has an eviction record that can impact people’s ability to obtain housing, credit, and employment. These eviction records are publicly available forever, regardless of the outcome. This legislation will protect tenants from being unfairly branded with an eviction record if they don’t have a judgment against them, if they weren’t actually evicted, or if they didn’t do anything wrong.

SB874 / HB1436 – An Act promoting housing stability and homelessness prevention in Massachusetts

Sponsor: Sen. Sal N. DiDomenico (D) / Rep. David M. Rogers (D)

Summary: Establishes a Right-To-Counsel program to ensure legal representation for low-income tenants and facing eviction proceedings.

SB890 / HB1426 – An Act to guarantee a tenant’s first right of refusal

Sponsor: Sen. Patricia D. Jehlen (D) / Rep. Jay D. Livingstone (D)

Summary: Allows municipalities the option of providing tenants in multi-family buildings the right to match a third-party offer when their homes are being sold. Tenants may designate their rights to a non-profit or local housing authority, or partner with an affordable housing purchaser.