Downing on Housing
I had forgotten that Senator Ben's policy expertise while on John Olver's staff was housing, but I did not realize that he received his Master's Degree last year from Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environment Policy & Planning - Not a bad set of bona fides when it comes to the discussion of low-income housing in Berkshire County.
My concern about the potential of a "cookie cutter" approach in the Expiring Use public housing bill was not needed. It seems that Beacon Hill has gotten this one right, so far.
Most importantly the bill allows for local control should the developer of low-income housing decide to sell off the projects that have met the time limit stipulated in their government subsidized mortgages. In North Adams we have a few such scenarios potentially coming down the pike
in the next decade:
The Expiring Use bill gives municipalities and the state housing authority the right of first refusal to purchase these properties should their owners decide to cash out. This is good. And if the glutted real estate market in North Adams holds true, it probably won't even be an issue around here.
In the same email from Senator Ben, I discovered that he and I have some very similar ideas about promoting home ownership in places like North Adams and Pittsfield. Evidently Sen Downing has filed a bill that promotes rehabbing homes in historic districts (like most of central North Adams) by providing tax incentives to owner-occupants.
I know a city council candidate
who proposes something very similar......
I look forward to learning more about the state's efforts.