Greater Boston is one of the top three most expensive housing markets in the country because it lacks the kind of homes that are within reach of moderate-income families. Rents have continued to increase as a result of pent-up demand for apartments in places near jobs and transportation. Many long-time tenants are forced out by market pressure.
At the same time, large areas of the state suffer from continued disinvestment and stagnant home values, such as Central and Western Massachusetts, the South Coast, and our older industrial cities and towns. These areas need to strengthen their housing markets in order to attract much needed investment and improve the quality of the housing stock.
Every community has a responsibility to provide a range of housing choices for its residents, including affordable homes for families with children, and safe, centrally located apartments for seniors and singles. Excluding people based on race, class, age, or other attributes, must not be tolerated.
The Alliance works to draw investment back to existing urban centers and to foster more housing production that is walkable, transit-oriented, and affordable.
- Help communities plan and zone areas of more concentrated housing development. This could be done through adoption of Chapter 40R districts, by planning for friendly 40B projects, or rezoning town and village centers or urban squares. The Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) can be effective in Gateway Cities.
- While housing production is a substantial part of the solution, it is not enough. Tenants affected by rising costs need more protection.
- Adoption of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in more cities and towns, providing an important local funding source for affordable housing (as well as open space and historic preservation). In addition we support more funding for the state match of local CPA contributions.
- Enforce state and federal fair housing laws to ensure that communities remain open and welcoming. Local regulations and practices that prevent certain groups of people from being welcomed in the community must be challenged in the courts.
- Great Neighborhoods legislative agenda for 2019-2020
- Campaign to support local housing initiatives by the Citizens’ Housing And Planning Association, a founding member of the Alliance.
- Community Preservation Act
- Senate Housing Report Advances Smart Growth