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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

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.


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 Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.