Affordable Housing Crisis Reduced Through Home Repairs Program

On January 31, 2023, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in support of HB 0079 – Housing and Community Development – Whole-Home Repairs Act of 2023.

The bill’s cross-file, SB 0296, was referred to the Senate Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee on January 27, 2023.

Among other provisions, HB 0079 establishes the Whole-Home Repairs Program as a special, non-lapsing fund. The Program’s purpose is to provide local administering agencies with the resources they need to ensure that owner-occupied and rental units are free of habitability concerns. By lowering or even eliminating outlay on the part of landlords for some repairs, the bill addresses one of the principal reasons for rent increases.

From the MACo Testimony:

HB 79 would help to address [deficiencies in the preservation of affordable housing stock] by providing owner-occupied units and small landlords with the necessary resources to undertake expensive repairs. For small landlords, this program would lower or eliminate out-of-pocket costs for some repairs, lessening or eliminating the need for expensive rent increases. For owner-occupied units, the program has a similar impact, effectively creating a safety net for families in financially dire situations who cannot afford home repairs.

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