Executive Order

Executive Order No. 418: Assisting communities in addressing the housing shortage

Date: 01/21/2000
Issuer: Argeo Paul Cellucci
Mass Register: No. 888

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth has enjoyed unprecedented economic growth and prosperity in the last decade;

WHEREAS, as an unfortunate consequence of this economic growth, in many of our communities there is a shortage of housing for individuals and families across a broad range of incomes; and

WHEREAS, to address the housing shortage, we need to encourage our cities and towns to create "community development plans" that identify locations for new housing opportunities while still preserving the unique character of their communities, and to provide incentives to cities and towns to expand the supply of new housing;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Argeo Paul Cellucci, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby order as follows:

The "Community Development Plan" Program

Section 1. The Secretaries of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and the Executive Office of Transportation and Construction (the "Secretaries") and the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development (the "Director"), collectively, shall develop and implement a two-year program to provide technical assistance and resources to cities and towns for the purpose of creating "community development plans." A "community development plan" is a comprehensive, strategic plan for the future development of a city or town, and shall include, among other things, plans for:

  • where the community will create new housing opportunities;  
  • where it will target commercial or industrial economic development (if any);
  • how it will improve its transportation infrastructure (or how its existing infrastructure will handle any growth); and
  • where and how it will preserve open space.

As part of this program, I hereby direct the Secretaries and the Director, through their respective secretariats and department, to provide assistance to any city or town seeking to create such a plan. Such assistance may include the provision of in-kind services or discretionary funds where appropriate. In no event shall the value of the services and funds provided to any individual city or town for this purpose exceed $30,000. In developing the program, the Secretaries and the Director also shall assist cities and towns seeking to create "regional development plans" that plan for new housing and open space on a regional basis.

The Secretaries and the Director shall develop and implement this program within assistance and their progress in developing their respective plans. forty-five days of this Executive Order and shall report to the Governor every three months on its status. Such report shall include which cities and towns have received assistance and their progress in developing their respective plans.

Priority in Distribution of Discretionary Funds

Section 2. The Secretaries and the Director each shall develop and implement a program to give priority in awarding discretionary funds to those cities and towns that the Director of Housing and Community Development has determined are taking steps to increase the supply of housing for individuals and families across a broad range of incomes. Such steps could include:

  • adopting revisions to local zoning or land use regulations that provide for more intensive housing development, such as, duplexes, accessory apartments, mixed uses of buildings or sites, or multi-family housing;
  • adopting incentive zoning provisions, such as density bonuses for deed-restricted units for low- and moderate-income households;
  • streamlining the housing permitting process;
  • providing money or land to underwrite the cost of developing housing for low- and moderate-income households; and
  • increasing the supply of housing for low- and moderate-income households by some percentage over existing levels.

As with the community development plans, the programs also should include cities and towns that choose to adopt a regional approach to creating new housing opportunities.

Each program shall be developed and implemented within forty-five days of this Executive Order. The Secretaries and the Director shall provide the Governor with a description of the programs at the expiration of the 45-day period.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 21st day of January in the year two thousand.

Argeo Paul Cellucci

Governor

William Francis Galvin

Secretary of the Commonwealth

Contact for No. 418: Assisting communities in addressing the housing shortage

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