Table of Contents

  1. Introductory Material
  2. Massachusetts: Current Resources and Information
  3. Arlington Specific Resources
  4. General Research and Research from Other States

Introductory Material: Start Here!

Zoning Matters: How Land-Use Policies Shape Our Lives: 2 min video introduction by the Urban Institute showing how zoning rules shape our lives. 
Segregated by Design: 17 min video based on Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law illustrating how federal, state, and local governments unconstitutionally segregated metropolitan areas in America.
How the US Made Affordable Homes Illegal: 9 min VOX video explaining the history behind the creation of single-family zoning.

Segregation by Design Comic: Comic summarizing the introduction to Jessica Trounstine’s book Segregation by Design showing how today’s housing decisions are shaped by past discriminatory local land-use decisions. 

Massachusetts Housing: A Three Prong Crisis: Supply, affordability, and equity. A Short paper by UMass’s Mass Benchworks about these interrelated housing crises in Massachusetts.

10 Great Neighborhoods that are Illegal with Current Zoning. 10 towns in Massachusetts whose historic neighborhoods would be illegal under their current zoning rules.

The Data-Backed Case for Increasing Housing: Short paper by Housing Forward arguing that Massachusetts needs more housing at all income levels

In Defence of the “Gentrification Building”: 9 min VOX video explaining why new housing designs are more affordable to build and how additional market-rate housing reduces displacement.

Key Zoning Definitions

Massachusetts: Current Resources and Information

The Waning Influence of Housing Production on Public School Enrollment. Study by the Massachusetts Metropolitan Area Planning Council showing that the conventional wisdom that new housing production increases school enrollment is no longer true. 

MA Land Use Regulation Causes Segregation: A 2013 thesis finding that restrictive zoning leads to fewer Black and Latino households in a town. 

State of Zoning for Multi Family Housing: A deep dive into the regulations that encourage or prevent multifamily housing in the 100 cities and towns around Boston.

Zoned Out: Why Massachusetts Needs to Legalize Apartments Near Transit: An interactive report by Boston Indicators arguing that legalizing apartments near public transit increases social-economic diversity, reduces car dependence, and lowers prices.

Legalizing Housing Near Transit in MA: A 2020 Brookings report explaining why our housing affordability crisis requires statewide reforms focused on creating homes around public transportation centers.

The Boston Foundation: Greater Boston Housing Report Card: 2022 Report Card on the state of housing challenges in Greater Boston, with suggestions for efforts we can take–from legislation and public policy to education and technical support.

Arlington Specific Resources

Affordable Housing in Arlington: Information about the Housing Production Plan, Affordable Housing Trust, Fair Housing Action Plan, and resources for homeownership and rental opportunities in Arlington. 

Arlington Housing Prices Out of Reach: One-page infographic showing current housing trends in Arlington.

Town of Arlington Fair Housing Action Plan: A plan to address equitable access to housing choice in Arlington. 

Arlington Housing Plan: A recently updated report listing strategies we can take to increase the supply of affordable housing in all of Arlington’s neighborhoods.

Zoning Demystified: A presentation on some of Arlington’s zoning rules, especially along our commercial corridor. 

Arlington Zoning Bylaws and Map

General Research and Research from Other States

Why More Housing Supply Reduces Housing Prices: A definitive NYU report linking the production of additional housing to greater affordability.

Who Participates in Local Government: A study by Arlington’s own Katie Einstein and Max Palmer on how participatory inequalities in public meetings contribute to rising housing prices. 

Overcoming Restrictive Zoning: An analysis of five states’ innovative approaches to zoning and affordable housing development.

Evaluating Housing Affordability Policies in Your Area: A Mercatus Center report that helps communities identify areas for reform at the local level.

Exclusionary Zoning: It’s Effect on Racial Discrimination in the Housing Market: A White House blog post on housing and discrimination. 

Dismantling Segregationist Land Use Controls: A short law review article by professor Sarah Adams-Schoen, with some treatment of other states’ zoning reforms. 

Overcoming Opposition to Multi-Family Housing: A report by Harvard’s Joint Center on Housing Studies debunking false claims by housing opponents about traffic, property values, schools, and more.