Rep. Connolly introduces “Housing For All” legislative agenda

In a message to the members of the Massachusetts House and Senate, Rep. Connolly introduces “Housing For All” legislative agenda

Our Commonwealth is facing an ongoing emergency in the shortage of affordable housing, extreme rent burden, foreclosure, and homelessness.

While we can all be proud of the work we did last session to enact the $1.8 billion Housing Bond Bill, and while there are many promising pieces of legislation on the table this session, as a lifelong tenant and as someone who grew up in public housing that was built by the Commonwealth, I believe we must broaden our ambitions and work toward a program of guaranteed Housing For All.

All of these bills deserve close scrutiny as to their workability, but they all deserve to be recognized as creative proposals worth discussing.

It does not make sense to let “the market” be totally responsible for providing some basic human needs when meeting those needs cannot make a profit. The public can pay the private sector to provide some of these needs, but ownership needs to be in public hands. Contracts with private companies to provide service must be relatively short term – no more than 1 year. Before there can be a contract renewal, the previous contract performance must be evaluated, and it must meet at least some minimum standards spelled out in the contract.

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