CPA projects are funded through locally raised money and a match from the CPA Trust Fund. In the past, local money was matched 100%. But the funding mechanism hasn’t been updated since 2000, so this year’s Department of Revenue estimate is that the Trust Fund will only provide an 11% match.
“I refuse to accept the Department of Revenue’s projection of a CPA match to local dollars of 11% will become fact. To be clear, the FY 20 budget passed by the House that infuses the CPA Trust Fund, immediately infuses and sustains Easthampton’s local affordable economy.” stated Mayor LaChapelle today at a press conference in Mission Hill with Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh.
Mayor LaChapelle stands with the Citizens Housing and Planning Association, the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance & the Preservation for Affordable Housing who endorse the House of Representatives’ FY20 Budget that modernizes the CPA Trust Fund funding. The House’s solution is one that gives communities across the state the power to address our housing crisis right now.
The House Ways and Means Committee has released its version of the FY2020 budget, which will raise the match through a one-time increase to CPA recording fees at the Registries of Deeds. On April 25th, the House passed a budget for Fiscal Year 2020 that includes an increase to the fees that flow into CPA Trust Fund from $20 to $50 for most documents and from $10 to $25 for municipal lien certificates. The Community Preservation Coalition estimates that the proposal would provide the CPA Trust Fund with an infusion of $36 million in new money each year.
With the decreasing match, Easthampton finds itself in the same place as many other communities across the Commonwealth – too few housing units available and too few in production and too few ways to address this crisis. Very specifically, the CPA dollars once used to add affordable units and home ownership incentives are no longer available due to an anachronistic funding mechanism. The addition of affordable units slowed down as the CPA match decreased. The city has virtually no rental units available, and property prices have risen six percent with a strong expectation that prices will continue to rise in the coming fiscal years. Starter homes now sell for listing price plus cash – locking out first – time home buyers and families looking to downsize. The local economic gains that Easthampton is seeing now are sustainable only with more affordable housing and local jobs.
CITY OF EASTHAMPTON
Mayor Nicole LaChapelle
50 Payson Avenue, Suite Easthampton, MA 01027