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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

MA lawmakers pitch new investments in affordable housing

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Tuesday, December 26, 2023   

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., says the federal government needs to get creative in addressing America's affordable housing crisis.

It will take an estimated five to seven million units to meet current demand. Warren said a 15% minimum tax on billionaire corporations could help stimulate a bigger housing supply.

She's also pitching a housing fund created with just 5% of the annual defense budget.

"It is time for the federal government to step up," said Warren, "not to tell local governments what to do, but to be a good partner for communities that are prepared to act."

Warren said it's a matter of values.

The $580,000 dollars median sales price for a single-family home in Massachusetts set a record in November.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey has proposed a historic $4 billion investment to build more than 40,000 affordably priced homes and improve existing housing units.

An estimated $200,000 over the next several years will barely keep up with demand. Healy said if the state doesn't "go big" it will pay the consequences.

"We're going to have too many people struggling financially, too many people leaving, too many businesses looking to locate or relocate outside of the state," said Healey. "That's not what we want. That's not who we are."

Healy said she aims to preserve and upgrade the state's aging public housing stock and convert more state land into construction plots.

State and local officials are also working to pass inclusionary zoning laws to allow for more accessory dwelling units, which include basement and garage apartments, and to keep them affordable.





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