Dedicated Secretariat designed to assist the administration in prioritizing housing for all residents
(BOSTON – 04/13/2023) The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday passed a reorganization plan to create a state Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities, a cabinet-level position which will assist the Commonwealth with meeting its long-term goals in addressing the housing crisis and expanding safe, accessible, and affordable housing for residents. Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) voted favorably in support of the legislation.
In Massachusetts, housing-related issues are currently addressed by the administration through the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. The reorganization plan passed in the Senate today would elevate housing issues to a separate executive agency tasked with supporting housing availability and assessing the Commonwealth’s progress in this area.
“In recent years, especially during the pandemic, we witnessed just how important stable and safe housing is and the many challenges that our most vulnerable residents must overcome to access such housing,” said Senator Friedman, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “We must address our growing housing crisis, particularly in my district and in the Greater Boston region and creating a dedicated Secretariat to focus on housing and livable communities is an excellent way to tackle these issues head-on, enabling us to create more sustainable housing policies for the future.”
In response to ongoing concerns over housing availability, last session, the Massachusetts Legislature allocated over $1 billion in direct appropriations to support affordable housing in Massachusetts. This followed a session that saw the long-awaited ‘housing choice’ legislation become law with important housing production incentives, including requiring multi-family zoning near transit.
The reorganization plan is also in the House of Representatives for consideration.