MACDC urges approval of amendments that would make a good bill even better

MACDC urges approval of amendments that would make a good bill even better

July 2020

MACDC Applauds House Economic Development Bill

Legislation would support small businesses, promote affordable and equitable housing development and protect tenants

MACDC urges approval of amendments that would make a good bill even better

On Friday, July 24, the House Ways & Means Committee released its version of H. 4879, An Act Enabling partnerships for growth, also known as the Economic Development bill.  MACDC strongly supports the bill which was originally filed by Governor Baker and was made stronger by House Leadership.  The bill – scheduled for a full vote of the House on Monday – includes several provisions that are particularly important to MACDC and its members: 

  • Authorizes capital funding for critical programs, such as
    • $35 million in capital authorization for CDFIs and CDCs that lend to small businesses
    • $15 million for a micro business matching grant program
    • $30 million for a forgivable loan program for small businesses
    • $40 million to support neighborhood stabilization by revitalizing underutilized properties into active commercial space, housing, green or civic space
    • $10 million to a new Rural and Small-Town Development Fund
    • Additional funding for green and smart growth housing development
  • Triples the Housing Development Incentive Program from $10 Million to $30 Million annually
  • Increases the state housing tax credit from $20 Million to $40 Million annually
  • Provides new language to protect tenants from eviction (after the moratorium ends) by requiring landlords to engage in good faith mediation before evicting a tenant impacted by COVID-19
  • Includes the Housing Choices legislation filed by Governor Baker that would reduce the threshold for approving smart growth housing from two-thirds to a simple majority.

This is a very good bill, but we have a chance to make it even better.

MACDC urges representatives to co-sponsor and support: 

  • Amendment #9 (Rep. Honan) to enact the City of Boston’s Home Rule petition to strengthen its Inclusionary Development and Linkage programs (for more info read this letter);
  • Amendment #82 (Rep Santiago) for a right to counsel pilot program (for more info read this fact sheet);
  • Amendment #269 (Rep Cullinane) to create a Tenant Opportunity to Purchase program (for more info read this article);
  • Amendments #382 and #384 (Rep. Donahue) to fund the MA Food Trust. Amendment #382 authorizes an additional $7 Million for the MFTP over the next 5 years, and #384 continues the authorization of unreleased funds from 2016, which is $3 Million, for a total authorization is $10 Million (For more info go to MA Food funded projects);
  • We are also opposed to any amendments to weaken or modify Housing Choices.