For Immediate Release - June 05, 2013

Secretary Bialecki Announces Multi-Family Advisory Committee; Joint Partnership with EEA and DOT at Multi-Family Housing Summit

Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki today announced the formation of a new Multi-Family Advisory Committee, which will advise the Department of Housing and Community Development on how to build broader support for multi-family housing. This announcement continues the Patrick Administration’s work in building a coalition of leaders committed to creating more housing in Massachusetts.

“Housing that is accessible and attractive to young individuals and families is an important part of our work in keeping our well-educated workforce here in Massachusetts,” said Secretary Bialecki. “This advisory committee will help us make connections and increase focus on the need for housing that fulfills the demand from people who want to live in town or urban centers and near public transportation.”

The announcement was made today during a Multi-Family Housing Summit attended by local government officials, housing developers, non-profit advocates and members of the business committee. The Summit follows last year’s Governor’s Institute for Community Design conference, which outlined a number of action items for moving housing forward, including the creation of the advisory committee.

The Multi-Family advisory committee will be made of 28 individuals from outside state government with staffing provided by state and quasi-public agencies. Membership will consist of municipal and regional officials, members of the business and development community and non-profit and advocacy organizations. The committee will meet quarterly starting in July.

In November, Governor Patrick announced a goal of creating 10,000 multi-family units of housing per year, a first in the nation statewide housing production goal of this kind. The goal recognizes that the Commonwealth’s economy depends on the ability to attract and retain its talented workforce, particularly for innovation industries. Communities can make progress by zoning land so that multi-family housing is allowed in reasonable locations, providing prompt and predicable zoning and allowing for density.

Progress towards the goal will be measured by the number of building permits issued each calendar year from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2020. To ensure that progress is measured fairly and accurately, the Commonwealth will do a baseline calculation for 2012. The Patrick Administration will support the housing production goal by continuing to fund affordable housing at the highest possible levels, recognizing that the vast majority of multi-family housing is market-rate housing.

“Increasing affordable and market-rate housing for families and individuals is part of the Patrick Administration’s comprehensive plan for improving housing at all levels,” said Undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development Aaron Gornstein.

Along with creating new housing, the Administration has made significant investments in the Commonwealth’s public housing stock, by preserving and improving the 46,000 housing units in the system through increased capital funding, increased operating subsidies and changes in management of those resources.

Also at today’s Summit, three of the Administration’s secretariats — Housing and Economic Development, Transportation and Energy and Environmental Affairs — joined together to highlight their common strategy and strong commitment to the Commonwealth’s Sustainable Development Principles.  All three Secretariats support “Planning Ahead for Growth,” a strategy that calls for state, regional and municipal partners to:

  • Identify priority areas where growth and preservation should occur;
  • Create prompt and predictable permitting that allows projects to move forward;
  • Invest public resources in those identified areas; and
  • Market those assets to others. 

“At MassDOT, we know the value of transit-oriented development and are pleased to join our colleagues at the Departments of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and Housing and Economic Development in this partnership to create more financially accessible housing that is also accessible to our transportation network,” MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey said.

“We are committed to working closely with our partners in housing and transportation to invest in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect our environment for generations to come,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan.

This strategy recognizes that each region has unique characteristics and that effective partnerships on a regional and local level are essential to our continued success in furthering economic development, making smart transportation investments and achieving environmental preservation.

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