Housing Choice legislation

Governor Charlie Baker filed the Housing Choices legislation in December 2017 to promote best practices for housing growth.  The bill was re-filed on February 27, 2019 and is House 3507.


Zoning changes that promote best practices for housing growth that would qualify for the simple majority threshold include:


  • Building mixed-use, multi-family, and starter homes, and adopting 40R “Smart Growth” zoning in town centers and near transit.

  • Allowing the development of accessory dwelling units, or “in-law” apartments.

  • Approving Smart Growth or Starter Homes districts that put housing near existing activity centers.

  • Granting increased density through a special permit process.

  • Allowing for the transfer of development rights and enacting natural resource protection zoning.

  • Reducing parking requirements and dimensional requirements, such as minimum lot sizes.

This legislation also includes a provision, added by the Joint Committee on Housing, that would reduce the voting threshold for a special permit issued by a local permit granting authority to a simple majority vote, for certain multi-family or mixed-use projects with at least 10% affordable units in locations near transit or, in centers of commercial activity within a municipality.

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Re-Filing of Housing Choices bill https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-files-new-housing-legislation-to-increase-housing-production-in

Here is some of what people are saying about the Housing Choices bill:


Boston Globe: Housing Crisis demands zoning fix


Advocates blast Governor’s housing bill


CHAPA statement supporting Housing Choices


Governor’s bill cheered and jeered at legislative hearing


Massachusetts Municipal Association urges passage to boost production


Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce supports Governor’s bill


Baker steps up pressure for housing bill

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