Business & Tech

Baker signs bill to fund housing programs

Governor Charlie Baker has also filed a bill to ease local zoning rules, but the Legislature has yet to act on it.
Winslow Townson/Associated Press/File 2018
Governor Charlie Baker has also filed a bill to ease local zoning rules, but the Legislature has yet to act on it.

Affordable housing advocates were cheered Thursday when Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill authorizing $1.8 billion in new housing funds over the next five years.

The measure will renew and expand funding for a variety of housing programs, including money to redevelop public housing and tax credits that boost new low-income housing development and historic preservation. The Baker administration had warned that funds for some of these programs — established through a $1.4 billion bond bill passed in 2013 — could soon run out.

The measure, which will be paid for through state bonds, easily passed the House and Senate earlier this year, and a final vote was taken in both houses last week. Housing advocates say the money will finance thousands of new units of affordable housing in Massachusetts.

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Another bill filed this year by Baker, which would ease zoning rules to enable more housing developments, remains tied up in legislative committees.

Tim Logan can be reached at tim.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.