The Metro Mayors Coalition’s Housing Task Force

Like numerous metro areas in the United States, Greater Boston has both a shortage of housing and high housing costs. According to a recent presentation by Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine, Boston and the immediate surrounding communities added new 148,000 jobs and 110,000 new residents in the period 2010–2017. But despite the increase in jobs and population, we’ve only permitted 32,500 new homes.

This shortage led the Metro Mayors Coalition — a group of 15 mayors and town managers in the Greater Boston area — to establish a housing task force. The task force set a goal of producing 185,000 new homes during the period 2015–2030. There’s a lot said about that number, and the commitments each community has been willing to make. 185,000 new homes is the big ask, but there’s more to the MMC’s efforts than a simple production goal.

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Four Big Housing Challenges In Metro Boston

Data in a Mass Housing Partnership report shows how far behind the Boston metropolitan area has fallen in meeting the housing needs of its citizens. There are four primary categories for measuring the inadequacies: 1. Availability, 2. Affordability, 3. L0cation and Mobility and 4. Equitability. See the full report for more data and examples. Two slides are shown below.

Despite increasing population and job growth, Mass. has one of the lowest rates of housing production in the USA
Average zoning jurisdictions in Mass. arrepresent only 10,000 people. This makes it hard to achieve meaningful, broad public policy goals.
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