Dec 062012

Gov's goal puts housing, growth on front burner
by Rus Lodi

Governor Patrick put the issue of housing supply and job growth on the front burner last month when he announced a statewide goal of producing 10,000 multifamily units per year for each of the next three years. Speaking on Nov. 13 at a state housing conference in Worcester, Patrick said the goal of keeping young professionals and working familes in Massachusetts hinges on creating more multifamily housing.

To spark this effort, Patrick outlined a new Compact Neighborhoods Program, which is designed to offer incentives to communities that build denser, multifamily housing. The program is meant to complemennt other state initiatives like Ch. 40R which promote mulitfamily housing near jobs, public transportation and urban centers.

One week later, Boston Globe op-ed contributor Paul McMorrow wrote that in order for the Patrick Administration to achieve its ambitious goals, it must convince cities and towns to overcome their resistance to housing and realize the importance of balancing housing supply and demand. Otherwise, he predicts communities won't take advantage of the various programs that provide incentives for multifamily housing.

MHP's Foundation for Growth initiative was created to tackle this problem. Our objective is to enable more robust job growth through state polices that require responsible land use planning and eliminate unreasonable local constraints on housing supply. Governor Patrick's aggressive goal is right on target and it brings the issue of housing and economic growth to the forefront. McMorrow's candid political assessment highlights the need for new state polices to get us there.  


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