Our communities are stronger when all families have access to affordable housing options--options that allow families to stay in the neighborhoods they've helped build over the years and that help keep new, young families in the communities where they've started to put down roots. But the demand for affordable housing continues to outpace the supply--a fundamental problem that Boston cannot solve alone. Additionally, our neighborhoods continue to face a new level of challenge with the national foreclosure crisis turning more and more family homes into abandoned structures. It will take the best of our city and our state's creativity and dedication to progressive values to solve these complex challenges.
As your State Senator, I have pushed for both long- and short-term solutions to stabilize the housing market and keep the dream of home ownership within reach for working families. I have worked with affordable housing advocates and development experts to target immediate resources into programs that have shown the most success. I have also filed three bills to tackle the foreclosure crisis in our district. An Act to Require Judicial Foreclosure (S.1613) amends Massachusetts' foreclosure law so that Massachusetts will join 29 other states in requiring court approval of foreclosures. An Act to Protect Tenants from Eviction in Foreclosed Properties (S.1614) prevents rental tenants in good standing from being evicted when the buildings they live in are foreclosed upon by a bank, through no fault of their own. An Act Protecting Homeowners Facing Foreclosure (S.1612) establishes a set of procedural protections for homeowners facing foreclosure.
Longer-term, we need to invest in "smart growth" and mass transit in the Commonwealth, in order to expand housing options across the state and distribute demand pressures more evenly between Boston and other areas. We also need to put in place safeguards to address the factors that caused the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, in order to prevent a similar crisis from coalescing in the future.