News & Resources

The human cost of bad zoning: Meet Bryan Bryson

Every day marks a step closer to the end of the 2018 legislative session on July 31. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be telling the stories of people across the Commonwealth who can’t wait for vibrant, affordable communities.

Help us broadcast their stories by sharing them with your friends, legislators, and local officials. Encourage them to help pass a Great Neighborhoods bill now. We’ll post one story each day–find them at and at #GreatNeighborhoodsMA.

Today, let me introduce you to Bryan.

“My name is Bryan Bryson, I’m a proud resident and community member of Dorchester.  I’m also an MIT Professor.

I’m here today to tell you the story of being priced out of my neighborhood in Cambridge where I lived for a number of years.  And to say that if this is happening to me, a professor making a very good salary, imagine how it’s impacting teachers, nurses, and other working families throughout our Commonwealth…”

Click here to read Bryan’s full story and share it on social media.

Much of our state’s zoning hasn’t been updated in decades. This is one of the reasons why our cities and towns haven’t been building the kinds of housing that would enable more young families and seniors to stay in their communities.

For example, Massachusetts needs more apartments. Boston alone has built more than a third of the state’s apartments in the last seven years, and just ten communities have built nearly two-thirds. That means that the remaining 341 cities and towns combined have built only one-third of the state’s apartments–nowhere near enough to maintain stable vacancy rates and prices.

A Great Neighborhoods bill will make it easier for communities to update their zoning, make development less contentious and expensive, and create more housing choices that will help stabilize prices in the region.

Learn more and take action at