Governor Healey brings pitch for housing legislation to Cape Cod
Governor Maura Healey brought her plans to build more housing to Cape Cod Tuesday, with a stop at the Yarmouth Gardens affordable housing development on Route 28.
Healey said one part of the massive housing legislation she is proposing would give local communities help in building sewers and other infrastructure that allows more housing to be built.
“There's a homeowner production tax credit which would create new homeownership opportunities for moderate income households,” Healey said. “It supports local capacity with a $175 million investment in our new Housing Works program. These are funds towns can use to prepare their infrastructure for new homes.”
The Governor was joined by local officials who support her ideas, including Yarmouth Selectman and Barnstable County Commissioner Mark Forest; State Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro; State Rep. Kip Diggs, D-Hyannis; State Rep. Christopher Flanagan, D-Dennis; and State Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Falmouth.
Forest said Yarmouth and other towns are aware that it takes cooperation to build much-needed housing.
“At our last town meeting we approved, almost unanimously a $207 million waste water initiative that not only preserves the environment, but creates critical infrastructure that meets our affordable housing challenge,” Forest said. “Here on Cape Cod as everyone knowns, wastewater, infrastructure and affordable housing go hand in hand.”
Gov. Healey also touted the doubling of the senior circuit-breaker tax credit from $1200 to $2400 to help older residents deal with housing costs.
“And that’s going to mean money back in your pocket whether you are paying rent or paying a mortgage,” Healey said. “You’re entitled to that relief, so spread the word because the money is there and we want to make sure everyone takes advantage of it.”
The Healey Administration’s Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities Ed Augustus cited Yarmouth Gardens as a prime example of what can happen with cooperation between state agencies and towns.
“These 40 rental units are all restricted to families earning less than 60 percent of the area median income and 12 of the units are restricted to extremely low income families. These are units that can change people’s lives, “ Augustus said. “There is a wait list of 450 households for Yarmouth Gardens. That alone underscores how important this work is we are doing to build more and build it faster.”
The Healey Administration’s multi-pronged housing legislation is still in the early stages of review by the Legislature. But it seems assured of support from Cape Cod and Islands legislators.
Sen. Cyr applauded the Healey Administration for listening to the concerns of people on the Cape and Islands.
“Listening and hearing us. Hearing islanders on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and in Provincetown and in Truro and in Wellfleet and Chatham and across the region who are crying out for the ability to have a local option transfer fee on luxury real estate so we can harness the absolutely out of control real estate market we’ve had particularly since the pandemic and put those dollars to work here,” Cyr said.