The Commonwealth set a goal of creating 10,000 multi-family housing units per year through 2020, a first in the nation statewide housing production goal.  There is a focus on promoting Multi-Unit  Housing so that the State can  keep and attract the workforce that fuels our innovation economy.  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.

Ink Block, South End, Boston
Counting House Lofts, Lowell

Multi-Family Housing Production Goal

  • 2013 Massachusetts Housing Production Goal Report links to PDF file

    Multi-family building permits jumped In the first year covered by the goal—from 5,479 in 2012 to 8,607 in 2013.

  • 2012 Massachusetts Housing Production Goal Report links to PDF file

    To develop a baseline for future comparisons, the Commonwealth asked municipalities to report annual building permit data to DHCD for the first time.  This report confirmed that the US Census undercounts multi-family building permits in two categories—buildings converted from industrial to residential uses (e.g., mill conversions) and townhomes.   There were 5,479 multi-family building permits issued in Massachusetts in 2012.

  • Guide to Statewide Housing Production Goal links to PDF file

    The Guide outlines the methodology that will be used to measure progress toward the 10,000 multi-family unit goal.

Programs & Resources

  • Planning Ahead for Growth

    We have been planning ahead for job and housing growth across the Commonwealth in partnership with local communities.  This strategy includes the regional planning efforts that identify priority development and preservation areas on a local, regional and state level.

  • Chapter 40R Smart Growth Overlay Districts

    Financial and other incentives available to municipalities that adopt zoning “as of right” and at certain densities in smart growth locations.

  • Compact Neighborhoods

    Similar to Chapter 40R smart growth zoning, but different residential density and affordability requirements.

  • Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP)

    Incentives to developers for substantial rehab that produces market rate units in Gateway Cities.

  • Chapter 40B Local Initiative Program (LIP)

    By providing technical assistance to projects where the community has agreed to support use of Chapter 40B comprehensive permits, LIP allows the project’s units to be counted on DHCD’s subsidized housing index even though no further subsidy is provided.

  • Chapter 43D Expedited Permitting

    Municipalities provide local permitting decisions on its designated priority development sites within 180 days of a complete application.  This program was amended in 2012 to include housing development as well as commercial or mixed use opportunities.

  • MassWorks Infrastructure Program

    The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support economic development and job creation.  In 2013 and 2014, multi-family housing in mixed use districts is a program priority.

  • Housing in Massachusetts - Studies and Other Resources

    Looking for more? The case for multi-family housing in Massachusetts and some of the new analytical tools available.

News & Updates