Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Housing Bank Bill -- If at first you don't succeed try again

The MV Times News In Brief section published an editorial regarding the controversial Housing Bank. This is not about a for-rent project; it is about affordable property ownership for lower income residents of Martha's Vineyard.

Housing bank bill is re-filed on Beacon Hill

“Hoping for success the second time around, backers of legislation designed to create a fund to be used to support the creation of affordable housing on Martha's Vineyard learned that Senator Robert O'Leary, a key supporter, filed the bill on Jan. 9.

“Senate Bill #781 would impose a one percent fee, paid by the seller, on real estate sales. The first $750,000 of each sale would be exempt. Modeled closely after the Land Bank, the bill would create a housing organization that would be self-funded and award money to a variety of housing initiatives.

“Last summer the legislation, which was combined with a similar effort to create a Nantucket housing bank, passed the Senate but went down to defeat in the House where it was opposed by real estate interests.

“The legislation filed this month no longer contains any reference to Nantucket. The Martha's Vineyard Community Housing Bank Coalition, a group created to push the bill through the legislature, is optimistic that separating the Vineyard from Nantucket will further its chances.

“A copy of the bill is available on the coalition's web site at www.mvchb.org.”

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