Good News! Bond Bill Updates, June 4, 2024

On Monday June 3, the House Ways and Means Committee released its version of the Bond Bill (aka the Affordable Homes Act). The House is expected to pass it on Wednesday, June 5, and then it will move on to the Senate. The House made changes to the bill, three of which impact public housing:

    1. The House added $500 million for capital repairs in state housing! This brings their proposal up to a total of TWO BILLION DOLLARS for the backlog of capital needs. Yes, that’s billion with a “b”! While there are still hurdles to get through before we see this money in our communities, it is great news that the House has increased the amount. No one understands the need for capital repairs better than you. Thank you again for making your voices heard.
    2. Stronger tenant protections during Redevelopment. As you may recall, the Bond Bill includes important protections for tenants who are facing redevelopment. The House made these protections even stronger, and ensured that tenants will not need to be rescreened when they come back to their homes after redevelopment.
    3. The LHA merger section has been removed. The original bill included a section that would make it easier for Housing Authorities to merge with each other. This language appears to be gone from the new version. (Mass Union’s board and policy committee had suggested that this section be strengthened to protect tenants.)

We will closely watch all three provisions as the bill is debated in the House and then moves to the Senate. We will let you know how you can take action for tenants soon. Stay tuned!