Clearly the biggest accomplishment for the protection of private property rights in Massachusetts in 2010 was the defeat of Question #2, a ballot question in the November elections that sought to repeal Chapter 40B—the state’s affordable housing law. Congratulations are in order because, due to our hard work educating our colleagues and communities about the very important issue of affordable housing, Question #2 was soundly defeated by a margin greater than 16%. While we helped to save 40B from total repeal, our work is not over. Like any law or program, review of its effectiveness and consideration of potential enhancements are ongoing efforts.
Toward that end, MAR’s Quality of Life Presidential Advisory Group Chairman David Wluka and MAR CEO Robert Authier have undertaken the effort to solicit input from members for a 40B Task Force. A questionnaire was sent via e-mail asking what areas of the law, if any, you believe should be reviewed. We welcome your input. If you are interested in participating further, please contact MAR’s Legislative and Regulatory Counsel Tony DeGregorio at email@example.com.
While Question #2 was the only ballot question in 2010 that MAR took a position on, there are other key legislative victories for which MAR successfully lobbied.
Successful lobbying efforts kept new transfer taxes on the sale of property at bay in the communities of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
MAR strongly supported legislation signed into law in 2010 that enhanced education requirements for obtaining a real estate salesperson’s license and amended the educational and experience requirements for obtaining a broker’s license.
Permit Extension Act
Together with the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, Homebuilders of Massachusetts, and the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, we argued for the passage of a two-year extension of building permits that were in effect between August 2008 and August 2010. Many had lapsed as a result of bank financing issues, and resurrecting these stalled projects serves as a means to aid the housing recovery.