State Honored with National Award for Workforce Housing Initiatives

State Honored with National Award for Workforce Housing Initiatives

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 8, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki accepted a national award from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) on November 6 recognizing the Commonwealth’s leadership in pursuing a strategy to increase the supply of housing needed, and in the places needed, for its workforce. This award not only recognizes the Patrick Administration’s efforts to stimulate multi-family housing but also the work of the Legislature and the Commonwealth’s quasi-public agencies which support housing: MassHousing, MassDevelopment, the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, the Community Development Economic Assistance Corporation and the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation.

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Last November, Governor Deval Patrick announced the Commonwealth’s goal of creating 10,000 multi-family housing units per year through 2020, a first in the nation statewide housing production goal. The “Housing that Works” initiative is particularly focused on promoting multi-family housing in city and town centers, near transit and well-connected to employment.

The ULI also recognized the Commonwealth’s comprehensive set of policies and programs designed to encourage housing for those with a middle range of incomes, including comprehensive permit applications (Chapter 40B), smart growth zoning districts (Chapter 40R), the expiring use program to preserve affordable units (Chapter 40T) and the new Housing Development Incentive Program (Chapter 40V). ULI noted that through these programs and others, the Commonwealth has helped produce at least 4,000 such units.

Another key part of the Commonwealth’s approach is using public investments in a strategic way to trigger private housing and mixed-use investment. Last week, the Administration began announcing the 2013 MassWorks infrastructure grants, including many in Gateway Cities that both strengthen these communities and create new market rate housing in areas that are more affordable. Preliminary numbers from the U.S. Census indicate that building permits for almost 5,500 multi-family units were issued in the first eight months of this year, 65% higher than a comparable date in 2012 and the highest total since 2006.

Click here to see the full press announcement and links to additional information on the award and the initiatives being recognized by this award.

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