On January 30, 2018, President & CEO Jim Rooney testified in support of Governor Baker’s housing bill — H.4075, An Act to Promote Housing Choices. For employers in the region, the high cost of living in Greater Boston, including the cost of housing, affects their ability to attract and retain a talented workforce. To retain our talented workforce — the region’s competitive advantage — we need to provide affordable housing options with access to transit and other amenities.
Governor Baker’s proposed legislation is a straightforward and practical solution that supports additional housing production and, importantly, strikes a balance with existing municipal authority. The bill allows local authorities to adopt certain zoning changes with a simple majority instead of a two-thirds supermajority currently needed, allowing more communities to plan and expand the supply of housing while protecting the autonomy of local decision makers. The Administration will provide incentives for communities to adopt these zoning best practices through technical assistance funding and providing preference for existing state grants like Massworks and MassDOT capital funding.