State Housing Secretary highlights Governor’s Affordable Homes Act

State Housing Secretary highlights Governor’s Affordable Homes Act

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – Massachusetts’ Secretary of Housing, Ed Augustus, was in Northampton on Monday, focusing on Governor Healey’s Affordable Homes Act.

The bill would support middle-income housing opportunities in the state.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Massachusetts has the tightest vacancy rate for rental properties in the United States. Now, with families struggling to keep up with the pressures of rising housing costs and limited availability in the state, the commonwealth’s secretary of housing and livable communities, Ed Augustus, highlighted the Affordable Homes Act initiative in a visit to Northampton on Monday.

“These buildings that will be built will be exclusively set aside for folks in those more modest income levels to give them the opportunity of home ownership and we know al the good things that come from that. There’s the ability to build equity, and over generations transfer that wealth.”

Governor Maura Healey’s $4-billion plan would allow for tens of thousands of homes to be built with grants for first-time homebuyers. Alexis Breiteneicher who is the executive director of Valley Community Development told Western Mass News what this bill would mean for them and other affordable housing organizations.

“So we’re really excited about the Affordable Homes Act because it increases the funding to new historical levels,” expressed Breiteneicher. “So $4.1 billion across the entire state, across many different programs and as an affordable housing developer a lot of the programs in this bill directly impact our ability to do the work which means there’s more money is coming in and because everything is more expensive even though the pandemic is starting to reel in the cost has not dropped. So having the money come through from the state and this bill is so critically important for affordable housing developers to be able to do their job which is build affordable housing which is a critical need in the state.”

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