Zoned Out: Why Massachusetts Needs to Legalize Apartments Near Transit

At its best, Greater Boston is a thriving region where residents pair a strong economy with proactive government supports to help ensure opportunity for all, regardless of race or income. Housing is one area where the state falls far short of its potential. Too many cities and towns restrict the dynamic functioning of the housing market by allowing construction only of large, expensive homes, while state and federal governments don’t do nearly enough to provide financial support to lower-income families. Addressing these varied housing challenges will require a wide range of sustained solutions, largely along two paths: 1) building much more housing at accessible price points; and 2) providing significantly more public subsidy for low-income housing supports.

This event marks the release of a new report by Boston Indicators and Brookings that proposes one big, yet also relatively simple, idea for helping on the home building front: adopting a statewide policy to legalize low- to mid-rise multifamily housing (e.g., townhomes, duplexes, small apartment buildings) near transit. 

The event will feature presentations from two of the paper’s co-authors, Luc Schuster, Director of Boston Indicators, and Jenny Schuetz, Fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. A panel discussion will follow including people involved in efforts to legalize modest multifamily housing in other parts of the U.S.. Over the past two years, states and localities, including Oregon, California and Minneapolis have pursued zoning reform through political organizing and diverse coalition-building, which can offer some lessons for Massachusetts.

For more info and to register please click here.

  • October 21, 2020 at 10:00am – 11:15am