Program Description

In response to an increasing shortage of housing across the Commonwealth, both for individuals and for families with a broad range of incomes, especially those of low-, moderate-, and middle-income, the Governor of Massachusetts enacted Executive Order 418 (EO418) in January of 2000. EO418 is comprised of two components:

  • Community Development Planning
  • Housing Certification

Together these two initiatives established a comprehensive approach to help communities identify suitable locations for new housing production throughout Massachusetts. The Commonwealth provides communities with needed resources and incentives for housing production from a variety of sources.

Through EO418, planning funds were offered to all Massachusetts communities to help the plan opportunities to Build Vibrant Communities while linking housing with economic development, transportation, and open space and resource protection. Local officials and others in the community were encouraged to undertake the planning components, while considering the existing infrastructure, the regional or sub-regional economy as well as the need to preserve the unique character and valuable open spaces of their towns and cities.

Community Development Plans

Four state agencies, including the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA), the Executive Office of Transportation and Construction (EOTC), and the Department of Economic Development (DED) formed an alliance to provide up to $30,000 worth of planning services and other technical assistance to each community in the Commonwealth. Services and technical assistance provided under EO 418 assisted communities to create a Community Development Plan. Completed plans and other technical assistance materials are posted on this website.

The program was administered locally through 11 of the Regional Planning Agencies across the state. Information about the planning process and requirements for completing a Community Development Plan are contained in the Guidebook, "Building Vibrant Communities: Linking Housing, Economic Development, Transportation and the Environment."

Housing Certification

To ensure that all communities are taking steps to increase the supply of affordable housing, a Housing Certification process works in tandem with the Community Development Plan and other housing plans created by municipalities. Housing Certified Communities, which meet certification standards annually, are given priority when applying for various state discretionary grants and programs administered by The Office of Commonwealth Development and other programs administered by the participating agencies. (Insert link to web of OCD). The EO 418 Housing Certification Request Form, including instructions on how to fill it out, is available online through this interactive website.


Additional information about Executive Order 418 can be obtained by contacting the following agency representative:

Department of Housing and Community Development
Toni Coyne Hall
617-573-1351
100 Cambridge St., Suite 300
Boston, MA 02114