Advocacy

Let’s work together to make Arlington and Massachusetts more equitable! This page describes local and state policies that HCA has endorsed — and action you can take.

HCA has endorsed the bills listed below for the 2023-2024 MassachusettsMassachusetts Statehouse, with its gold domed roof legislative session.

Join our email list to get notices about advocating for these bills. We need to get these passed before the legislative session ends in July 2024!

Or, email your State Representative and State Senator any time to let them know you hope they will do all they can to see these bills pass. Just explain why you care about the issue and be sure to list the bill numbers that are shown below. Sign your email with your full name and address.

If you live in Arlington, your State Senator is:
Cindy Friedman: Cindy.Friedman@masenate.gov

Your State Representative is either:
Sean Garballey: Sean.Garballey@mahouse.gov
or Dave Rogers: Dave.Rogers@mahouse.gov

If you’re not sure who your State Rep is, or you don’t live in Arlington, visit this site and enter your address: Find My Legislator (malegislature.gov)

Tenant Opportunity to Purchase (TOPA) Enabling Act: An Act to guarantee a tenant’s first right of refusal. S.880 and H.1350.

Campaign Website

The TOPA Enabling Act would give cities and towns the local option of providing tenants in multi-family buildings the right to match a third-party offer when their buildings are being sold, in order to protect them as affordable housing. Tenants can opt to purchase the building themselves or designate their right to an affordable housing developer (such as a nonprofit like HCA). TOPA is revenue neutral, does not regulate sales prices, and explicitly exempts small owners.

A similar law is already working successfully in Washington, DC. A similar bill was passed by the Massachusetts legislature in a prior legislative session but was vetoed by Governor Baker. Now we have another chance to prevent more properties from being lost to the speculative market – and more tenants from being displaced from their communities, including right here in Arlington. And the seller still gets a market price for their building. It is a win for all.

January/February 2024 – Template for sending email to state legislators

TOPA fact sheet

Community Investment Tax Credit Program (CITC), S.1789/ H.2876.

CITC campaign info from MACDC website

CITC expands the capacity of organizations like Housing Corporation of Arlington to address the range of social and community development issues that impact their community. CITC has helped HCA significantly grow our income. This has directly led to the creation and management of more affordable housing, expanded social services for Arlington families (including homelessness prevention), and the growth in civic engagement of local residents on local and state issues.

This bill will eliminate the 2025 CITC sunset and lift the cap on annual CITC awards from $12 million to $15 million, ensuring this important program can continue to directly support the work of HCA and many other organizations like HCA across the state.

Zero Carbon Renovation Fund, S.2365 /H.3232

Click Here for Campaign Website

This bill would designate $300 million for a Zero Carbon Renovation Fund to jumpstart the market for zero carbon renovations in existing buildings in Massachusetts, with the goal of having the fund administered by MassCEC (Mass Clean Energy Center).

The fund will support improvements and renovations that incorporate one or more of the following: (1) maximizing energy efficiency through building envelope upgrades; (2) electrification of building systems; (3) maximizing usage of on-site renewable energy, wherever possible; and (4) consideration of building retrofit materials that are low embodied carbon.

The fund will prioritize affordable housing, public housing, low- and moderate-income homes, schools, BIPOC and women businesses, and buildings located in Environmental Justice communities.

An Act Enabling Cities and Towns to Stabilize Rents and Protect Tenants, S.1299/H.2103

Arlington residents are being displaced from our community because they can’t afford the exorbitant rents. So many families who might like to move here are blocked from doing that because of the extreme housing costs.

This bill will empower each city and town to do what is right for their community and let them opt to enact locally-needed rent stabilization and just cause eviction protections.