The HOME Act, an omnibus bill including legislation filed by Westford State Representative Jim Arciero, was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on Thursday following a unanimous passage by the Massachusetts State Legislature.
Also known as H.4285, the bill provides additional housing support for members of the Armed Services, veterans, and Gold Star Families. The bill has a particular focus on supporting disabled veterans, building on Valor Act I and II to help veterans obtain housing in low-income and senior housing throughout the Commonwealth.
It also provides additional funding for the Commonwealth’s two soldiers’ homes in Chelsea and Holyoke in addition to creating an Office of State Veterans’ Homes and Housing.
Arciero praised Baker for signing the bill, noting that several of his family members have served in the Armed Services.
“I am thrilled that we were able to pass the Veterans HOME Act which will provide support to our veterans, active duty military, and their families by addressing some of their housing and other needs,” said Arciero. “This legislation continues the proud tradition of Massachusetts leading the nation in providing services for our veterans and their families.”
The governor was also pleased to sign the bill into law.
“We are grateful to the brave men and women who have answered the call for our nation and Commonwealth,” said Baker. “I am honored to sign this legislation enhancing the services Massachusetts provides to those active service members, veterans and families who selflessly serve to secure our safety and freedom.”
Other aspects of the bill included extended terms of service for town veterans’ officers, forcing businesses with more than 50 employees to give paid holidays to veterans on Veterans’ Day, the creation of Gold Star Family license plates, and various other benefits for veterans.
Full text of the bill, amended as H.4477, can be seen here.