What They're Saying: Governor Baker’s Housing Initiative a “Step in the Right Direction” for Addressing Housing Shortage, Reducing Costs for Families

BOSTON -- Governor Baker’s Housing Choice Initiative is drawing widespread and bipartisan praise for its goal of substantially increasing housing production and supply to ease demand and reduce costs for Massachusetts’ families. With $10 million in funding incentives and new flexible tools for cities and towns, the plan will put the Commonwealth on the path to 135,000 new housing units by 2025.

Newburyport Daily News – A Laudable, Smart, Clear and Flexible Goal to Create New Housing: “But the governor's goal is laudable: create more housing on a clear timetable, make it affordable and create variety in the kind of apartments or houses that are built…With this Housing Choice Initiative, Baker is trying to give communities more control over how they increase their housing stock and in what fashion.” (Editorial Board, “Smart step on affordable housing,” Newburyport Daily News12/13/2017)

Governor’s Local Approach Incentivizes Communities to Build More Housing: “The governor's proposed carrot-on-a-stick approach is one positive way to get momentum for more affordable housing for those communities that see the wisdom in doing that.” (Editorial Board, “Smart step on affordable housing,” Newburyport Daily News12/13/2017)

Boston Herald – Proposal Retains Local Control to Increase Supply and Meet Demand:“Previous proposals at the state level to increase housing production have been too heavy-handed in their treatment of cities and towns. This one retains local control, while offering incentives to accommodate more growth. It has great potential to increase supply to meet demand.” (Editorial Board, “Editorial: A Mass. housing boost,” Boston Herald12/13/2017)

The Lowell Sun – Legislature Should Follow Suit and Pass a Bill: “No one can dispute the need for more affordable housing in this state. It's time that every municipality, not just cities like Lowell and Fitchburg, to do their fair share in providing reasonably priced housing for those who live and work in their communities. The Legislature should follow the governor's lead and pass a bill that reflects this dire housing need.” (Editorial Board, “A way to streamline, incentivize more affordable housing,” The Lowell Sun12/13/2017)

 
Statewide and Greater Boston Municipal Officials “Thrilled” with New Plan and Tools to Spur Housing Growth

Massachusetts Municipal Association: “We applaud the governor’s Housing Choice Program, because he is standing with cities and towns, and offering resources and tools that are necessary to make real progress together.” (MMA.org)

Somerville Mayor and Metro Mayors' Coalition Chair Joseph Curtatone: “I'm thrilled that Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito are creating the Housing Choice program and filing legislation to spur the production of housing for people across the economic spectrum. I support this program and endorse the legislation, and I'm excited to work with the Administration so the region and the Commonwealth can lead the way in tackling the most pressing issue we face today." (Mass.gov)

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh: “Together with the support of the Commonwealth through the new Housing Choice Initiative, cities and towns, including Boston, will have a new set of tools at our disposal to continue delivering more housing for the people we serve." (Mass.gov)
 
Local Economic Development and Housing Officials Endorse Plan, Praise Flexibility

“The governor's proposal has received favorable reviews from a cross-section of stakeholders, including the Commercial Real Estate Development Association of Massachusetts, the Conservation Law Foundation, and the Massachusetts Municipal Association. Even Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, citing the legislation's benefits, is on board with the plan.” (Editorial Board, “A way to streamline, incentivize more affordable housing,” The Lowell Sun12/13/2017)

Newton-Needham Chamber President Greg Reibman: “It’s a big step in the right direction…A number of projects have been either significantly compromised, or never happened, because they needed to get so many votes.” (Tim Logan, “Calling for 135,000 new homes, Baker seeks zoning changes, promises cash for suburbs,” The Boston Globe, 12/11/2017)

South Shore Chamber President & CEO Peter Forman: “The Administration’s proposal will help towns create a housing agenda that makes sense for their own communities rather than having the state set zoning decisions for them.” (Mass.gov)

Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance: "We are very pleased that the Baker-Polito Administration recognizes the fundamental role that zoning reform plays in solving our housing crisis. Local leaders, business groups and residents from all across the state have been asking for an incentive program for cities and towns for many years and kudos to the Governor for making it happen.”  (MA-SmartGrowth.org)

Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation …”supports the efforts to increase the production of #housing in Massachusetts through the new #HousingChoice Initiative announced by @MassGovernor Baker and @MassLtGov Polito. @MA_DHCD @CKornegayDHCD” (Twitter)

The Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations “…and our members are ready to help build many (thousands) of these 135,000 units and make sure they are affordable to working people, seniors and people with disabilities.  @cdcswork.  Thank you @MassGovernor for your leadership!” (Twitter)

Transportation for Massachusetts: “Better transportation and smart development go together. We’re encouraged by breadth of participation in @MassGovernor’s Housing Choice Initiative. @MAPCMetroBoston @MASmartGrowth @massmunicipal @MassHousing @mhphousing #mapoli” (Twitter)

Metropolitan Area Planning Council: “We applaud @MassGovernor for this aggressive housing program announced today! #mapoli #affordablehousing” (Twitter)
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