$620 Million for Housing in First ARPA Funds Bill

December 3, 2021

- By The MAR Legal Team

On December 3rd, the Legislature passed its first American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds bill, H.4269An Act relative to immediate COVID-19 recovery needs, sending it to the Governor for his signature. The federal ARPA law allocated billions of dollars to states in one-time payments to assist in COVID recovery efforts. Massachusetts received $5.3 billion.  

H.4269 spends a little over half of the state’s allotment, $2.55 billion, along with $1.45 billion in surplus tax revenue for a total of $4 billion. Roughly $620 million of that is going towards housing, with $22 million in direct earmarks (including $250,000 for a Cape and Islands housing advocacy coalition with Cape Cod and Islands Association of REALTORS®) and $595 million in the following breakdown: 

Funding Area  Amount 
Homeownership Support  $65 million 
Housing Production  $115 million 
Rental Housing Production  $115 million 
Senior, Veteran, and Supportive Housing  $150 million 
Public Housing Maintenance  $150 million 


The bill includes significant funding for other MAR priority areas including: 

  • $75 million for grants to small businesses hurt by COVID-19 
  • $50 million to start a broadband innovation fund to close the digital divide in underserved communities 
  • $15 million for climate change and resiliency projects 
  • $10 million for infrastructure. 
  • $6.5 million to retrofit affordable housing with energy efficiency measures 


It also has one notable policy provision, extending state tax benefits to businesses that received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in 2021 and met the requirements for forgiveness. MAR was successful in advocating for 2020 loan recipients to receive this benefit and is pleased to see the same benefit extended to PPP recipients this year. 

ARPA funds must be allocated by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026. We anticipate a second ARPA bill in the spring allocating more of the remaining $2.34 billion as the state continues to recover from the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.