Amendment ID: S2842-7
Establishing a Special Commission to Study Racial Segregation in Housing
Messrs. Crighton and Eldridge and Ms. Jehlen move that the proposed new text be amended by inserting the following section:-
"SECTION XX. (a) Not withstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there shall be a special commission to study racial segregation in housing and make recommendations to remedy the causes of housing segregation.
(b) The commission shall investigate for purposes of determining the extent to which the following may contribute to housing segregation based on race (i) state statute and regulations (ii) state programs that financially support prospective tenants and prospective homeowners (iii) state programs that finance or govern the development of affordable housing (iv) discriminatory practices based on race in the banking industry, including underwriting practices and standards used to determine credit worthiness for mortgages (v) discriminatory practices in the real estate industry, including the practices of real estate agents, property managers, and landlords, based on the race of prospective tenants or such prospective tenants’ participation in a state or federal housing voucher program (vi) violations and enforcement of the Fair Housing Act based on race and (vii) exclusionary zoning ordinances and bylaws and (viii) any other topics that it deems relevant to racial housing segregation.
(c) Based on the commission’s investigation of the topics outlined in (b), the commission shall make recommendations to remedy the causes of housing segregation.
(d) The commission shall convene its first meeting within one month of the passage of this act and shall submit its report and recommendations not later than one year after the passage of this act.
(e) A copy of the report and recommendations shall be made publicly available on the website of the department of housing and community development and submitted to the joint committee on housing.
(f) Prior to issuing its recommendations, the commission shall conduct not fewer than 4 public hearings across regions of the Commonwealth.
(g) The commission shall consist of: the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on housing, who shall serve as co-chairs; the secretary of housing and economic development; the commissioner of the department of housing and community development; the commissioner of banks; the attorney general or a designee; the executive director of MassHousing; the president of the senate or a designee; the speaker of the house of representatives or a designee; the minority leader of the house of representatives or a designee; the minority leader of the senate or a designee; the governor or a designee; 2 persons appointed by the president of the senate; 2 persons appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives; 5 persons appointed by the Massachusetts Black & Latino Legislative Caucus; 3 persons appointed by the president of the senate from organizations with relevant subject matter expertise; 3 persons appointed by the speaker of the house from organizations with relevant subject matter expertise; and 3 persons appointed by the governor from organizations with relevant subject matter expertise.
(1) Members shall not receive compensation for their services but may receive reimbursement for the reasonable expenses incurred in carrying out their responsibilities as members of the commission.
(2) The commissioner of the department of housing and community development, the secretary of housing and economic development, the commissioner of banks, the attorney general, and the executive director of MassHousing shall furnish reasonable staff and other support for the work of the commission."