This year, the U.S. broke a new record for how unaffordable housing is – with half of all renters spending more than 30% of their income on rent. Home prices in Massachusetts are at an all-time high. Too many people are taking second and third jobs to make ends meet without any relief in sight, or are priced out of the cities we call home.

The Affordable Homes Act (H.4138) is one bill that could change that. Governor Maura Healey proposed this important piece of legislation, packed with solutions to mitigate the housing crisis. This bill would dedicate funds to build and repair affordable housing that our state desperately needs. 

We’re calling for critical amendments for working class people, like deeper affordability for low income families and enforcement of laws that require landlords to provide safe and healthy living conditions to tenants. But overall, the bill would be a significant step towards addressing the housing crisis. 

In January, more than 20 Neighbor to Neighbor members traveled to the State House from Springfield, Holyoke and Lynn to testify in support of the Affordable Homes Act and call for amendments. We arrived in the hearing room at 11am, and our first two members were called up to speak ten hours later at 9pm – a testament to how important addressing the housing crisis is to people across the state. 

Neighbor to Neighbor members submitted oral and written testimony to the Joint Committee on Housing, recounting their housing stories and visioning solutions. We’re keeping an eye on next steps.