bullet Joint Committee on Housing and Urban Development
bullet Joint Committee on Banks and Banking
bullet Mass.Gov on Housing
bullet Department of Housing and Community Development
bullet Boston Housing Authority
bullet Massachusetts Housing Community Education Centers
bullet MassHousing
bullet United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
bullet Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation

"We must continue to preserve, protect, and produce affordable housing to ensure that our citizens can live within the communities in which they work."
 image of a triple decker home
-Speaker Tom Finneran
The stress of Massachusetts' housing crisis does great harm to its economy, its families, and the fabric of its community life. Massachusetts has enjoyed unprecedented economic prosperity over the past few years. Unfortunately, many of the people who have helped achieve this prosperity can no longer afford to live in the communities in which they work. Many citizens - teachers, firefighters, nurses, police officers, small business owners, clerks, cleaners, and countless others - find the price of housing beyond their reach.

In response to this housing crisis, the Committee on Housing and Urban Development conducted months of meetings across the state with housing advocates, developers, tenants, and local and state leaders where they solicited ideas and proposals to address the crisis. They then proposed a bill that consolidated 78 bills from six legislative committees to addresses the need to preserve and produce quality affordable housing and to address homelessness throughout the Commonwealth. The House then focused two formal sessions on housing and passed a $508 million Omnibus Housing Bill which provides funding for public housing modernization, housing stabilization and innovation, and infrastructure improvements, and which created a task force to study homelessness statewide.

Throughout his career in the Legislature, Tom Finneran has worked to create more opportunities for affordable housing and home ownership. One of his proudest legislative accomplishments is his ongoing involvement with the Community Reinvestment Act. In 1990, as House Chair of the Joint Committee on Banks and Banking, he wrote the Nationwide Interstate Banking and Community Reinvestment Act of 1990, the first interstate banking law in Massachusetts. One provision of the law requires that banks involved in an interstate merger place 9/10 of 1% of the assets of the acquired bank on call to the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, a quasi-governmental organization, for lending to affordable housing developments. To date, the Massachusetts Housing Partnership has lent over $300 million dollars. Tom Finneran was also the lead Legislative supporter of the Soft Second mortgage program, which is the state's most affordable home ownership program and has helped over 6,000 families purchase homes in Boston since 1991. As Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means and as Speaker, he led the House in passing the Insurance Anti-Redlining Act of 1996, the nation's most aggressive disclosure law governing property insurance companies. Since the law's passage, the market share of private insurers has risen in the most of the Commonwealth's underserved neighborhoods. More recently, in 1998, as part of "An Act Insuring Community Investment and the Equitable Taxation of Insurance Companies in Massachusetts," Tom Finneran led the House to include a provision which offered tax equity for the life and property/casualty insurance industries in exchange for setting up a $200 million fund for investments in affordable housing, small businesses, and child care centers.

Safe and affordable housing is one of the most basic human needs. Massachusetts' severe shortage of housing exists at almost every price level, threatening the quality of life and economic development throughout this region. Through his work with the Committee on Housing and Urban Development and as an individual legislator, Speaker Finneran is committed to improving the quality of life and economic opportunities by increasing affordable housing stock within Massachusetts.
Voter Record: Affordable Housing
Support Oppose Bill # and Explanation Date
 #   Amendment to H. 5100. This amendment to the fiscal year 2003 budget appropriated funds for housing and community development programs, low income housing, and transitional assistance. House passed. (Y149 N0) 5/10/02
 #   H. 4284. This bill created means to assist in and encourage the production and preservation of quality affordable housing while also addressing the issue of homelessness across the Commonwealth. House passed. (Y148 N2) 7/2/01
 #   H. 4866. This bill gave communities a means to preserve and create open space, historic structures, and community housing in the Commonwealth. House passed. (Y141 N13) 7/19/00
 #   H. 4401. On passing item 7004-3036, of section 2 of the fiscal year 2000 budget, the House overrode the Governor's veto and provided funds for community based housing service. House passed. (Y133 N25) 11/17/99