Housing and Shelter
The CHNA9 supports policies that ensure that everyone has the dignity of a safe place to live. Other basic needs cannot be met or sustained without housing. Such policies include:
- Stabilization programs and policies that allow people who are currently housed to stay in their homes and communities
- Policies that encourage and incentivize the development of affordable housing units so that each municipality is able to achieve and maintain 10% affordable housing
- Policies that encourage developers and municipalities to consider the Environmental Justice Index impact of policies and new projects
- Increased funding for supportive housing for those struggling with mental illness and/or substance use disorder
- Policies that increase access to housing for formerly incarcerated individuals and/or those with previous evictions
- Policies and funding that support non-congregate shelter options and appropriate housing for youth and young adults, those with a history of trauma or abuse, those who identify as LGBTQ+, immigrants, veterans, and families
- Increased access to safe and local housing and shelter options for survivors of sexual and domestic violence, their children and their pets that are sensitive to the confidentiality needs of survivors
- Policies and funding that support healthy homes, such as weatherization, remediation of mold, lead, and other ground, water, and air contaminants
- Support for workforce housing that allows people in frontline service professions to afford to live in the communities they serve
Massachusetts is now the fifth most expensive state to rent a home, with Boston now the second most expensive rental market in the country. Across the Commonwealth, housing costs are increasing at unsustainable rates and people and communities are being pushed out. At the same time, rents are rapidly rising, eviction filings are reaching pre-pandemic levels and no-fault evictions have more than doubled.
Act Enabling Cities & Towns to Stabilize Rents & Protect Tenants
Drafted with community input through the Homes for All Massachusetts coalition, S880/H.1350, an Act Enabling Cities and Towns to Stabilize Rents and Protect Tenants (PDF), offers one piece of a comprehensive approach to address the Commonwealth's affordability crisis through rent stabilization and strengthening tenant protections. The bill, filed by Senators Jehlen, Gomez and Representatives Rogers, Sam Montaño, will:
- Lift the statewide ban on rent control;
- Limit rent increases to the rate of inflation with a cap of 5%;
- Clarify for tenants and landlords what qualifies as a legal reason to evict by establishing just cause ordinance.
Amendment Number 842 (Howard) would make $250M in emergency rent and utility assistance available to low-income tenants, amid acute housing scarcity and rising rents..
Amendment Number 1483 (Decker) would allow access to assistance earlier in a housing or utility crisis and provide greater program flexibility.