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Boston, MA (April 1, 2022) – Joining Mass General Brigham and health systems across the state, the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund (PPAF) of Massachusetts is calling on legislators to recognize the housing crisis as a public health crisis and pass a statewide local option real estate transfer fee. A local option real estate transfer fee would allow cities and towns that choose to adopt the transfer fee to generate revenue specifically for affordable housing creation and preservation.  

“Nobody should be forced to choose between rent and medical care or face the prospect of homelessness because Massachusetts housing costs are simply too high for single mothers and families,” said Dr. Nate Horwitz-Willis, Executive Director of PPAF. “And no community health center, nursing home, home care organization or hospital should face dangerous staff shortages because their frontline workers cannot afford to live in the communities they serve.”

PPAF joins dozens of non-profits, small businesses, and municipalities as members of the Local Option for Housing Affordability (LOHA) Coalition, calling on the Legislature to pass local option transfer fee legislation this year. While LOHA supports Mayor Michelle Wu’s call for a Boston transfer fee, along with the Home Rule Petitions filed by the other Commonwealth municipalities looking to do the same, LOHA’s mission is for all communities to have the option to implement a transfer fee to address the myriad housing challenges facing Massachusetts communities. Many of these communities are facing the same or similar problems as Boston – workers, seniors, and new home buyers unable to afford housing near their place of work due to soaring costs. In fact, there are now at least eight cities and towns that have already asked the legislature for permission to enact transfer fees for affordable housing, with still more poised to adopt the fee should the Legislature pass the enabling legislation.

As the advocacy and political arm for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, PPAF believes in working within the political process to bring real change to our communities. Dr. Horwitz-Willis also added, “We want to not only acknowledge the need to protect and defend sexual and reproductive health care but also to emphasize the need for affordable housing in our communities, since a lack of affordable housing creates high-stress burdens that put people at risk to not seek and receive family planning and other healthcare services.”