October 18, 2023
Dear NAIOP Members & Friends:
Today NAIOP CEO Tamara Small joined business leaders, advocates, legislators, developers, and representatives from the Healey-Driscoll administration in Chelsea for the unveiling of the Administration’s $4 billion housing bond bill, The Affordable Homes Act. The legislation represents the largest proposed investment in housing in the state’s history.
The bill, which reflects input from NAIOP and a wide range of stakeholders, contains numerous tools designed to tackle the state’s housing crisis and builds on the recently passed tax legislation, which included an expansion of the NAIOP-supported Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) and a $20 million increase to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.
The Affordable Homes Act includes $4 billion in capital spending authorizations, 28 policy changes or initiatives, three Executive Orders and two targeted tax credits. The majority of spending will benefit low and moderate income households. The three Executive Orders are of particular interest to NAIOP and will: create a Housing Advisory Council to develop a statewide housing plan; create an Unlocking Housing Production Commission to develop recommendations for streamlining housing production; and direct state agencies to develop an expanded inventory of state-owned land suitable for housing.
“From day one, the Healey-Driscoll Administration has been laser focused on housing production and it should be applauded for this comprehensive and collaborative approach,” said Tamara Small, CEO of NAIOP Massachusetts. “While there is no silver bullet to addressing our housing crisis, NAIOP is supportive of the Governor’s goals, and looks forward to working with the Administration and the Legislature in the months to come to ensure that a final bill – as well as additional legislation and policy changes – advance housing production.”
While NAIOP is supportive of the majority of the language in the bill, it does include language that would allow communities to adopt a real estate transfer tax of 0.5 percent to 2 percent on properties over $1 million. NAIOP does not believe transfer taxes are an effective way to address the housing crisis. The bill will now be assigned to a legislative committee, hearings will be held, and the House, Senate and Governor will need to adopt final language before the legislative session concludes on July 31. During this process there will be opportunities for NAIOP members to share their thoughts on how the bill could be strengthened and NAIOP looks forward to continuing to represent the industry on this critical issue.
Detailed information on the bill can be found here. A few highlights include:
- $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 initiative designed to leverage state resources to support large scale, mixed-income multifamily development.
- A new Homeownership Tax Credit to spur production of homes affordable to first-time homebuyers earning not more than 120 percent of area median income.