The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Executive Department
State House Boston, MA 02133
(617) 725-4000

MITT ROMNEY
GOVERNOR

KERRY HEALEY
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 8, 2004

CONTACT:

Shawn Feddeman
Jodi Charles
617-725-4025
Phil Hailer (DHCD)
617-573-1104

ROMNEY ANNOUNCES CREATION OF FAIR HOUSING ADVISORY PANEL

To ensure the people of Massachusetts have equal and fair access to housing, Governor Mitt Romney today announced the creation of a fair housing advisory panel to address lending discrimination, housing for people with disabilities and inequities in service delivery.

“Fair and affordable housing should be a right, not a privilege,” said Romney, addressing a meeting of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations.  “With the help of this newly formed committee, we will make that right a reality and ensure a vibrant and diverse Commonwealth for years to come.”

The panel’s work will help Massachusetts meet the federal requirement that states review their fair housing policies at least once every five years.  The state Department of Housing and Community Development will use the panel’s findings to develop an updated fair housing plan to submit to the federal government later this year.

Romney said the committee, whose membership will be announced in the next several weeks, will be comprised of representatives from state housing agencies, advocacy groups, non-profit and for profit organizations as well as other stakeholders, including those representing development concerns.

“This advisory board will be well served by the counsel of diverse housing community groups and it will help us to continue promoting fair housing practices throughout the state,” said Romney.  “In doing so, we will also be in a more favorable position when seeking future federal housing dollars.”

Romney said he will invite at least one Community Development Corporation executive director to serve on the committee.  He said he expects the panel to hold their first meeting within a month.

“As we move forward with our goals to double housing starts and promote smart growth, valuable input from Community Development Corporations will be critical to ensure that we continue to advance fair housing practices and objectives in our Commonwealth,” said Romney.

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