Housing

We, the undersigned delegates to the 2017 Massachusetts Democratic State Convention, hereby request that the following amendment to the Housing plank be added to the agenda of the convention:

TITLE: AMENDMENT TO DRAFT HOUSING PLANK

  • Remove bullet #4 which reads, “Supporting policies that create more market-rate housing.”
  • Amend bullet #7 to read, “Efforts to protect tenants against bias, discrimination, and unfair practices.”
  • Add a bullet that reads, “Encouraging cities and towns to prevent displacement and evictions by enacting measures appropriate to local needs such as inclusionary zoning, ‘just cause’ protection for tenants, local rent control, reasonable rules for room sharing businesses, ‘right to rent’ for foreclosed homeowners in lender-owned properties, and strong condominium conversion ordinances.”
  • Add a bullet that reads, “Granting tenants and tenant associations the Right of First Refusal when their homes are sold, helping to prevent displacement and to support affordable homeownership.”
  • Add a bullet that reads, “Allowing municipalities the freedom to implement anti-displacement strategies appropriate to local conditions by ending the statewide ban on local rent control measures and by enacting enabling legislation to authorize any municipality that so chooses to institute local “just cause” and post-foreclosure “right to rent” ordinances.
  • Creating lending instruments for land trusts, co-operatives, and rent-to-own opportunities.
  • Instituting a right to legal representation for defendants in summary process (eviction) cases.
  • Ensuring that state programs providing financial support for the construction or redevelopment of housing require the inclusion of a significant number of genuinely affordable units in all projects that receive assistance.

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