Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey stood before a crowd of state and local officials and Housing Assistance staff and supporters Thursday to announce the Healey-Driscoll administration’s $14 billion capital investment plan for fiscal years 2024-2028.
The investments emphasize funding related to climate, economic development and housing goals. The governor’s plan includes a commitment of $1.5 billion to help finance the construction of hundreds of new, affordable housing opportunities across Massachusetts each year.
“Every one of these investments is focused on strengthening opportunity, quality of life and equity in our state,” Healey said. “When it comes to housing, we’re taking things to a new level, which is only right, because our needs have never been greater. This represents historic levels of funding.”
Healey made the announcement at Housing Assistance’s main office in Hyannis with an exhibit of young children’s drawings of the theme “Home Is Where the Heart Is” as the backdrop.
“This artwork reminds us that the reason we advocate for housing is to ensure children have homes to grow up in, to ensure parents have stable housing to go to work from, and to ensure grandparents can age in place,” Housing Assistance CEO Alisa Magnotta said. “People are what makes a house a home and a neighborhood a community.”
Healey acknowledged Magnotta’s work to address the housing crisis on Cape Cod, and in her role as co-chair of the Affordable Abundant Housing Committee, one of the Healey administration’s six transition committees. Thanking Housing Assistance for hosting the event, Healey added, “You do such incredibly critical work in supporting individuals and families on the Cape, and we’re grateful for that.”
Magnotta said there are three building blocks needed to create successful housing projects: “courage, cash and community.”
“The funding announced by our governor today allows for bold, courageous action throughout our state so together we can build more housing for the children and our communities,” she added.
The governor’s plan includes the creation of a new $97 million HousingWorks program, which she said will “leverage existing programs and an infusion of new funding to create new flexible tools for developing affordable housing and preserving and rehabilitating existing stock.”
Magnotta said that this level of housing funding is urgently needed. “I say to anyone who will listen that the Cape and Islands are the canary in the coal mine,” she said. “The rest of the state should take notice of what’s happening here because it can happen anywhere. We need more housing inventory, and we need to diversify our housing stock. I know we can do better.”
Ed Augustus, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, said the capital investment plan is “an opportunity to match our words with action. As the governor highlighted, housing is at the top of the list. It’s clear we need more tools in our toolbox to spur housing development, and I’m thrilled that within the new Housing Works program, we include $25 million in new funding to support housing infrastructure.”
Others who attended the event at Housing Assistance included: Secretary for Administration and Finance Matthew J. Gorzkowicz; state Sen. Julian Cyr; state Rep. Kip Diggs; state Rep. Chris Flanagan; state Rep. Sarah Peake; state Rep. Steven Xiarhos; and county and town officials.