Details of The Better Not Bigger Alliance Legislation
Senate Bill 651: An Act Ensuring Affordable Housing in Perpetuity
Currently, 40B affordable units are only required to remain affordable for 20 years, this bill would require them to remain affordable forever.
During hearings and appeals regarding 40B projects, local Zoning Boards of Appeals' are only allowed to raise certain concerns. This limits their ability to fight grossly inappropriate projects. This bill would allow local ZBAs to raise any issue they deem relevant.
Currently, 40B projects are exempt from local zoning laws, this bill would require them to comply with these laws.
House Bill Numbe 1179: An Act Promoting Sustainable Development in the Commonwealth
All future 40B projects must abide by the Commonwealth Sustainability Principles (CSP). These principals were adopted by the state and 40B is the only law which is exempt. The principals themselves can be found here: http://www.mass.gov/Agov3/docs/smart_growth/patrick-principles.pdf
House Bill Numbe 1205: An Act Promoting Green Affordable Housing in the Commonwealth
This bill would require any 40B project to be 20% more energy efficient than similar-use buildings.
House Bill Numbe 1207: An Act to Promote Affordable Housing in the Commonwealth
This bill authorizes local housing authorities to purchase property below market-rate for the purpose of creating an affordable unit, Said Housing Authority must deed restrict affordable unit in perpetuity.
The bill forces the Department of Housing and Community Development to count ALL affordable units in a town, not just the ones built under 40B, and it forces them to correctly asses their own contributions, which they currently do not do.
House Bill Number 1210: An Act Establishing Commonwealth Affordability Standards
Currently, “affordable” is defined as housing for people making less than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI), this bill improves affordability by reducing it to 50% of AMI. This makes housing more affordable for working residents who truly need it.
This bill allows people who are looking for energy efficient affordable housing to use the energy savings in their prospective homes to qualify for a lower interest rate on their mortgage. This helps make the their cost of living more affordable and stabilizes the housing market by helping people remain in their homes.
This bill allows towns to collect a fee from developers to help cover the costs of impacts, such as additional traffic lights, road paving, fire hydrants, etc., so long as those improvements are directly related to the development project.