2019 - 2020 Advocacy Agenda

The Massachusetts Legislature began a new two-year session in January 2019. Based on conversations and feedback from our members and the core priorities in our Strategic Plan, we have identified the following advocacy agenda:

 

Our top priorities are:

  • Community Preservation Act (CPA): There is growing momentum to secure increased state matching dollars for CPA.  This is a top priority.  Sen. Cynthia Creem and Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante have filed legislation to increase the deeds fee to $75 (S.1618/H.2463);
  • Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) Program: In order to stabilize the SBTA Program we are advocating for increased funding to $4 million in FY 2020 (line item 7002-0040) - up from $2 million in FY 2010 - through a dedicated revenue stream from the Gaming Commission Economic Development Fund;
  • Neighborhood Stabilization and Economic Development: The Greater Boston region has a housing shortage, but some Gateway Cities and rural towns in our Commonwealth are facing another housing crisis: distressed vacant housing that continues to deteriorate, cause blight and further weaken a struggling housing market. Rep. Anthony Cabral and Sen. Brendan Crighton introduced legislation, "An Act Relative to Neighborhood Stabilization and Economic Development," to address this challenge.
  • A Comprehensive Four-Step Agenda to Meet Our Commonwealth’s Housing Needs:
    • Step One – Fix our zoning and land use laws, so we can expand housing opportunities;
    • Step Two - Protect tenants facing eviction and displacement;
    • Step Three – Secure new revenue to fund affordable housing;
    • Step Four – Restore abandoned and poor-quality housing in weak housing markets.

See the fact sheets for more information on the above priorities, which are located within the left-hand column section "MACDC 2018-2019 Legislative Fact Sheets."

We will also advocate for the following:

Economic Development Initiatives 

  • Obtain increased funding for the CDFI/CDC matching grant program to $2.5 million in FY2020 (Note: the Microlending and Community Development Capital Program was reauthorized through the last economic development bond bill at $1.25 million.);
  • Strengthen the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund so that it is easier for municipalities and non-profits to use and to increase the annual volume of investment from $2 million back to its historic level of about $6 million per year;
  • Support program funding and partnerships to boost state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), individual and family asset development, credit repair assistance and support for criminal justice reforms.

Housing (affordability, production, preservation, homeownership):

  • Maintain Chapter 206 funding ($2 million) from the MA Division of Banks (DOB) (line item 7006-0011) to enable nonprofit counseling agencies to provide homebuyer education and foreclosure-prevention counseling;
  • Increased funding in housing operating budgets, including MRVP ($130 million);
  • Programmatic improvements for Community-Scale Housing Program;
  • Limit federal housing policy rollbacks (e.g., Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rulemaking/weakening revisions by Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), other regulators; HUD Budget);
  • State funding and support for revived homeownership initiatives, including but not limited to affordable homeownership development.

Community Development & Community Health:

  • Get-the-Lead-Out Program:  additional state funding to recapitalize the lead paint abatement program and other policy reforms;
  • MA Food Trust program:  secure additional state capital dollars ($1 million annually or more) to improve access to healthy food and to provide loans, grants, and technical assistance to ensure support for local food enterprises and enhanced equity in low- and moderate-income communities.

Documents:

Testimony

MACDC 2019 - 2020 Legislative Fact Sheets

Comments and Letters

Endorsements