Housing

Representative Campbell has been very passionate about Housing issues. She made her maiden speech on the Foreclosure bill back in the 2009-2010 Legislative Session. Linda feels very strongly about making sure people have access to affordable housing and are being treated equitably by servicers and lending institutions.

See below for housing legislation Representative Campbell has supported in previous Legislative Sessions:

HD4472 An Act Relative to abandoned or vacant foreclosure property
The legislation requires that the financial institution holding the foreclosed mortgage pay a city or town 50% the rate of the property tax, prorated monthly, on any property that has been unoccupied after foreclosure for more than 90 days. This will provide cities and towns with a minor source of revenue to address the growing public safety problems posed by abandoned properties. It will also provide some financial incentive for the big banks to occupy, sell or residentially rent the properties that they have foreclosed upon. The funds collected by cities and towns will be directed to Public Health Departments, law enforcement or code enforcement within communities.

This Legislation is a special act that does not amend general law of the Commonwealth and will sunset in two years.

HD4265 An act relative to housing and redevelopment authority executive directors
Key provisions of the bill:

  • Director and staff salary schedule to be developed by DHCD using a formula based solely upon the number of units under supervision and program responsibility with one base salary and one benefit package as authorized by DHCD. This will prohibit local directors from receiving multiple salaries and state pensions.
  • Initial director contracts are not to exceed one year, and following, not to exceed five years.
  • No extensions will be approved or granted by DHCD between contracts.
  • A full time director is to be considered one who directs a “medium” sized housing authority as defined by DHCD, 200-499 units. No full time director shall serve as a part time in any other Housing Authority.
  • Communities with housing stock lesser in size than “medium” as defined by DHCD may have a part time director or may share a director with another community as long as the total number of units under supervision is approximate in size as determined by DHCD. Communities must be reasonably geographically co-located and approved by DHCD. Directors of more than one community based housing organization will be compensated according to the number of housing units under supervision and program responsibility as authorized by DHCD.
  • No vehicle is to be provided using state monies to LHA Directors/Clerical Staff unless authorized by DHCD
  • DHCD is to develop specific board training curriculum in consultation with all Directors. Instruction is to be the responsibility of DHCD. In addition to Housing polices, such instruction will include but is not limited to, ethics, compensation limitations and parameters and fiduciary responsibilities. Instructors shall have worked at the Director or Board level. All new board members must attend and be certified by DHCD.
  • DHCD, in conjunction with housing authorities, will develop, promote and assist with regional purchasing for all authorities.

H381- An Act authorizing municipalities to protect low and moderate income tenants and units of governmentally involved housing
This bill would permit any city or town to save affordable housing through no-cost regulatory mechanisms. It is an enabling act that would allow municipalities to save at-risk apartments by allowing cities and towns to require the renewal of expiring Section 8 contracts, thus preserving low-income units while still allowing owners to increase their profits tremendously under HUD’s Mark Up to Market Program. In addition, this bill would allow cities and towns to prevent the conversion of affordable apartments into condominiums, and it would promote the sale of expiring-use building at market rates to nonprofits that pledge to keep the property affordable, if and when they are able to assemble the necessary funds.

H990 – An Act relative to financing the smart growth housing trust fund
Chapter 40R was created to provide incentives to towns who adopt additional zoning districts to encourage smart growth development. These districts are typically near public transportation, town centers, or other areas suitable for mixed development. There are certain density and affordability requirements for the housing built in these districts. Communities receive funds under Chapter 40R when they establish the district and begin to issue housing permits. They also receive funding under Chapter 40S to cover the added costs of school-age children moving into the district.

The Smart Growth Housing Trust Fund is currently funded by revenue from state surplus land, money from the general fund, and funds returned from the towns for noncompliance. This bill:

  • Adds an additional source of revenue by redirecting the income tax revenue received from individuals living in the district into the fund
  • Directs the trust fund also be used for Chapter 40S payments in addition to Chapter 40R payments
  • Directs DHCD and DOR to estimate how much funding will be needed for the next calendar year and moves certain excess funds back into the general fund
  • Other clarifications in the laws about the trust fund

H1557- An Act promoting accessible housing for people with disabilities
Massachusetts has a shortage of affordable housing accessible to persons with disabilities. There is tremendous demand for capital programs that help build this housing but these funding programs will run out of bond authorization shortly and must be recapitalized. This bill will reauthorize the Community Based Housing Program, Facilities Consolidation Fund and Housing Innovations Fund.

In addition this bill aims to bridge significant differences in state and federal accessibility requirements that have created confusion among disability advocates, developers, architects and builders and has led to less units being available to persons with disabilities. This bill modernizes the Architectural Access Board (AAB) statute to resolve differences between federal requirements and the requirements of 521 CMR, the state accessibility building code. This legislation would also preserve the AAB’s ability to impose more rigorous standards.

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