Baker Signs Economic Recovery and Housing Bill

HYANNIS – Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito recently joined Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy to sign a COVID-19 economic recovery package.

An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth provides a five-year roadmap that is backed by more than $626 million in state funding to support economic growth and improve housing stability across Massachusetts. 

Baker said the bill is built on the framework outlined by previous plans that focused on four key pillars: responding to the housing crisis, building vibrant communities, supporting businesses, and training a skilled workforce. 

“This new law provides tools needed to respond to both the challenges posed by COVID-19 as well as those that existed before the virus took hold, especially the housing crisis. We are pleased to implement these policy changes, especially the Housing Choice provisions we proposed more than three years ago to make it easier to increase production and zoning reforms in communities that want and need it,” said Baker in a statement.

“While we continue to make progress we still have much work to do in the months ahead to help businesses recover, get people back to work, and restore the Commonwealth’s economic vitality.”

The new law will support advanced manufacturing as well as dedicate resources for micro-businesses and low-to-moderate income and minority entrepreneurs for starting or expanding business.

Baker said that the bill will also provide grants to community development financial institutions and community development corporations with a focus on supporting women-and minority owned-businesses. 

To support housing, the bill also provides funding for revitalizing blighted or vacant units back to productive use, produce new mixed-income housing near major transit nodes like Commuter Rail stations, build affordable housing responding to climate change, and develop small towns and rural municipalities.

“When we get to the, what I would call, post-pandemic period, this legislation has got a lot of really important elements to help us get from here to there,” said Baker during the signing. 

The law also introduces zoning reforms that will allow municipalities to adopt the zoning measures needed to meet the state’s housing needs by eliminating the two-thirds vote requirement and instead requiring only a simple majority vote.


About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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