Representative Vargas Votes to Authorize House Bond Bill
BOSTON, MA-- This week, Representative Andy X. Vargas supported and voted yes on H3825, “An Act financing the production and preservation of housing for low and moderate income residents,” which passed in the House. H3825 authorizes bonds for programs critical to affordable housing across the Commonwealth totaling $1.7 billion dollars.
The bond bill authorizes a rental voucher program for more than 8,000 families across the Commonwealth, builds a more than $400 million affordable housing trust fund, and allows for tax credits for developers in gateway cities to construct or rehabilitate existing properties. The bill also authorizes $45 million in grants for nonprofits for early education and out of school time facilities serving low income children, and increases the slots in early education facilities for low-income children from 25% to 50%.
Representative Vargas said “Our housing crisis is an issue that needs to be addressed in a statewide and regional manner. This bill helps set a path for more affordable and moderate income housing. I’m particularly excited to see the inclusion of $45M in capital grants for early education nonprofits focused on expanding access to pre-k.”
In 2017, Massachusetts had the 7th highest rents in the country. Currently, the Commonwealth’s housing supply is about 44,000 units short of demand, while the population is forecast to rise 7% to 7.3 million by 2035. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, nearly 50% of all renters in Massachusetts are rent-burdened, paying more than 30% of their income for rent.
Vargas was elected as state representative of the Third Essex district on November 7, 2017. He took his first vote in the Massachusetts House of Representatives on November 11, 2017.