Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
The Honorable Aaron M. Michlewitz, House Chair
The Honorable Michael J. Rodrigues, Senate Chair
Joint Committee on Ways and Means
The Honorable Daniel J. Hunt, Chair
House Committee on Federal Stimulus and Census Oversight
State House, Boston
Dear Chair Michlewitz, Chair Rodrigues, Chair Hunt and Distinguished Members of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means and the House Committee on Federal Stimulus & Census Oversight:
On behalf of the cities and towns of the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Municipal Association very much appreciates your support for local government. As the public hearing process continues and you gather input for the spending plan for American Rescue Plan Act funds, we appreciate the opportunity to share the priorities for municipalities.
In order to have a healthy and sustainable recovery from the public health emergency, cities and towns will continue to rely on a strong state-local partnership. While we are pleased that cities and towns will receive much-needed direct relief from the federal government with the passage of the ARPA, it is important to acknowledge that this federal funding can be maximized across the state through a coordinated effort between state government and municipalities. A critical component of this coordinated effort is timely decision-making around these proposed state and local partnerships.
We are writing today regarding, H. 3922, An Act Relative to Immediate COVID Recovery Needs, in support of spending items that are of particular interest to municipalities, and urge swift action to move forward on these important priorities.
Affordable Housing Investments
We support the proposed $1 billion investment in housing programs in H. 3922. Housing production is an integral part of economic development and recovery. With the passage of the Housing Choices bill last year, the new law provides municipalities with the tools necessary to boost housing production in the Commonwealth. As our housing shortage grows, the need for these tools has never been greater. The investments in the housing programs proposed in H. 3922 will give a much-needed boost to housing construction, the production of rental housing units, homeownership expansion that focuses on addressing persistent equity gaps in access to this fundamental aspect of the American Dream, and the delivery of supportive housing programs for seniors and veterans. The bill offers a multi-pronged suite of programs to address affordable housing needs that would create a stronger platform for economic recovery and success for families and communities in every corner of the Commonwealth.
This is a critical time for cities and towns. We know that you and your colleagues in the House and Senate continue to be outstanding partners for communities across the Commonwealth, and we look forward to working with you to recover from the pandemic and thrive over the coming years. The Commonwealth has a unique opportunity with federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to make historic investments in areas of housing, economic development, and major infrastructure improvements.
Thank you very much for your support, dedication and commitment to the cities and towns of Massachusetts.
Geoffrey C. Beckwith
MMA Executive Director & CEO