Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 623: Identifying Opportunities for the Use of Surplus and Underutilized Land for Housing

Date: 10/18/2023
Issuer: Maura Healey
Mass Register: No. 1508

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, the Healey-Driscoll Administration has launched a multi-pronged, whole-of-government approach to meeting the challenges that the currently limited housing supply creates for Massachusetts residents and employers;

WHEREAS, all executive agencies can support the development of much needed housing by repurposing suitable underutilized or vacant properties;

WHEREAS, strategically consolidating Massachusetts state buildings and facilities will aid the state in expanding energy efficiency, decarbonizing, and reducing environmental impacts;

WHEREAS, in order to expedite the identification of suitable properties the Healey-Driscoll Administration directed the Executive Office for Administration and Finance to develop an initial inventory of surplus, underutilized, and vacant state-owned land that could be repurposed to increase the state’s multifamily and affordable housing stock, which has now been completed;

WHEREAS, the search for properties that could be repurposed to increase the supply of housing should also include properties that are currently in use for other purposes, as well as properties held by all parts of government outside of the executive branch, including in particular authorities and other quasi-governmental entities;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Maura T. Healey, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, § I, Art. I, do hereby order as follows:

Section 1. The Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities and the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance shall, with guidance and direction from the Lieutenant Governor, develop an expanded inventory of government-controlled property that may be suitable for housing.  Real property which is subject to Article XCVII of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth will not be included on this inventory.

Section 2. To assist in the effort to repurpose suitable properties for housing development, the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities and the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance shall:

  • Establish guidance to help agencies, quasi-governmental entities, and authorities determine whether a property is suitable for housing;
  • Convene agencies, authorities, quasi-governmental entities, and external parties to foster dialogue and coordination;
  • Establish timeframes and protocols to foster ongoing periodic review of government-controlled land to identify properties suitable for housing development;
  • Identify and recommend policies, practices, and resources that can be used to facilitate the conversion of suitable properties into housing;
  • Identify strategies and develop tools that can expedite conversion to housing, including ways to make inventories of suitable properties searchable and accessible to the public.

All Executive Offices and agencies within the executive department, upon request of the Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities, will provide subject matter expertise, information, and data to assist EOHLC in accomplishing the tasks set forth in this Executive Order.

Section 3. Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to require action inconsistent with any applicable state or federal law.

Section 4. Quasi-governmental agencies and authorities, public institutions of higher education, other constitutional offices, and other public entities are encouraged to work with the Lieutenant Governor, the Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities, and the Commissioner of the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance in identifying underutilized or vacant property and otherwise adopting practices recommended under Section 2.

Section 5. This Executive Order shall take effect upon execution and shall continue in effect until amended, superseded, or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.

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