Research and Policy

Our work

Since 2005, the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) has commissioned studies aimed at understanding the connection between housing and economic growth.

The goal of this research is to study and recommend new policies that would help the Commonwealth build more housing in response to demand so it can “unlock” its full economic potential.

Here is our work to date:

COSTS & BENEFITS OF NEW HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

BOSTON, March 15, 2016 --- A new in-depth study of a sample of Massachusetts housing developments finds that the state tax payments made by their residents more than offset any negative local fiscal impacts associated with these developments. Commissioned MHP, the findings suggests that state tax revenues from new housing could be used to create a fund that would compensate communities for the negative local fiscal impacts of new housing.

HOW SEPTIC REGS IMPACT HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

BOSTON, July 10, 2015 --- As part of our analysis of impediments to housing growth, MHP asked Hancock Associates to analyze the state’s sewage treatment regulations. Hancock's analysis found that state regulations offer relatively simple system solutions for projects under 10,000 gallons per day, but projects of 10,000 gallons or more require very expensive systems. This often forces developments to be much larger than may be necessary so it can cover sewage construction and maintenance costs. Hancock also found that regulations are based on water usage levels prior to the advent of more efficient plumbing fixtures and appliances. This reports outlines and problems with existing regulations and makes recommendations for reasonable changes.

NEW POLICIES TO UNLOCK COMMONWEALTH

BOSTON, Dec. 22, 2014 --- "Unlocking the Commonwealth" is a report by MHP that documents the state's low housing production, how it could jeopardize our economy and ability to attract workers and what recommendations the legislature should consider to meet these economic challenges.

ACTION ON HOUSING ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

BOSTON, Feb. 25, 2013 --- An analysis by MHP Executive Director Clark L. Ziegler on why we struggle to compete with rest of U.S. and what housing reforms can help us realize our potential.

BENEFITS & COSTS OF INCREASING HOUSING PRODUCTION

BOSTON, March 14, 2012 --- MHP engaged Abt Associates to evaluate the benefits and costs of increasing job growth in Massachusetts to half the projected national rate by 2020 and of allowing sufficient housing production to support that growth. That higher growth scenario was outlined in a previous analysis for MHP by the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts.

HOW MUCH HOUSING DO WE NEED TO GROW ECONOMY

BOSTON, October 29, 2010 --- Research by the UMass Donahue Institute projects how much housing Massachusetts needs to build to achieve optimal economic growth by the year 2020.

RECIPE FOR GROWTH

BOSTON, Jan. 1, 2009 --- In research commissioned by MHP, economist Ed Moscovitch finds that the three most important factors in determining metro area employment growth are how much housing the region builds, its success in attracting new residents, and the extent to which it is dependent on manufacturing employment.

LARGE-LOT HOUSING CONSTRUCTION IN GR. BOSTON

BOSTON, Jan., 5 2006 --- An analysis of building data by MHP and MIT of single-family home construction on land supply. The analysis includes maps and a town-by-town chart illustrating land consumption patterns.

WHAT’S THE PAYOFF FROM SMART GROWTH

BOSTON, Sept.10, 2005 --- Economist Ed Moscovitch quantifies how Massachusetts could drive down prices and stop eating up land if it adopted smart growth production policies.

From the Blog