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Democratic Party Platform

The Platform of the Massachusetts Democratic Party


We believe the public sector has a vital role to play in the provision of safe, affordable, and fair housing. We recognize a crisis in housing costs across the Commonwealth, and we advocate a heightened priority for affordability initiatives, including the creation of a responsible state agency with full Cabinet-level status. We believe that tax incentives to spur private construction of low-income housing are important and appropriate parts of both state and federal tax codes. We support state and federal efforts to assist qualified first-time homebuyers. We strongly endorse laws against discrimination in the sale or provision of housing, and those providing for units accessible to persons with disabilities.

Urban Investment.

We restate our support for strong state and federal involvement in, and aid for, the needs of cities. We back the establishment of community development banks and recognize the vital role of community-based development organizations in providing affordable housing. We endorse existing federal Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Zone initiatives and advocate state “zones” that would supplement federal resources by providing a mix of tax incentives, venture capital, job training resources, and access to technology.

Redlining and Predatory Lending.

We understand that where redlining occurs in the financial services and insurance industries, job growth, entrepreneurship, and home ownership are profoundly undermined within low-income and urban communities. We strongly support The Community Reinvestment Act that requires lenders to offer loans and banking services to qualified residents in all communities within their service areas. We strongly support legislation and enforcement actions against predatory lenders and lending practices.

Rental Opportunities.

We recognize the crisis across the Commonwealth in the availability of affordable rental units and seek innovative and effective ways to address it. We call for additional federal and state support for affordable housing, including both the production of new housing, and the preservation of so-called expiring use units. We advocate state assistance through programs like the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program. We support cooperative efforts to increase the supply of appropriate student housing, decreasing the pressures on private rental housing.

Public Housing.

We believe that public housing continues to play a critical role in the Commonwealth. We do not believe that provision of vouchers to public housing tenants should result in diminished support for federal or state supported public housing, and we do not support public housing policies that result in a net loss of units. We endorse initiatives in which tenants assume managerial or ownership responsibilities, and encourage tenant-management partnerships to improve security and for other purposes. We support adoption of policies that allow expulsion of tenants involved with drug dealing or other disruptive criminal activity.

On-site Services.

We recognize that residents of public and moderate income subsidized housing often require access to social service networks. We firmly support the targeting of recreational, educational, vocational, and health resources to residents of public and subsidized sector housing.


We believe that the availability of a permanent and stable home in which to live is a basic right of all people, including children, and persons with physical or mental disabilities, HIV/AIDS, and victims of poverty, abuse, or violence. We recognize the need for adequate day care, job training, and affordable rental housing in eradicating this persistent problem.

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