The Housing Choice Designation is part of the Baker Administration’s strategy to produce 135,000 new housing units by 2025 to meet the high demand of housing across the state. The program also advances age-friendly housing options and best practices to help meet the demand of those looking to age in community.
The Baker Administration announced the inclusion of eight new communities in the Housing Choice Communities program and the re-designation of 56 Housing Choice Communities. This brings the total number of current Housing Choice Communities to 74 across the Commonwealth. This program is designed to recognize communities who have made substantial progress towards housing development goals and for the implementation of housing best practices to encourage sustainable development.
Many of the Housing Choice Communities are implementing best practices to produce new housing. Over 70 percent of the 2020 Housing Choice Communities now make it easier to build new multi-family housing through by-right zoning or a robust special permit pipeline of approved projects. Many others have invested Community Preservation Act funds in local projects, often in combination with local Affordable Housing Trusts to support new affordable housing development in the future.
The administration’s Housing Choice Initiative, which was announced in December 2017, is a package of technical assistance for communities, the Housing Choice Communities (HCC) designation, new capital grant funding, and pending legislation, An Act to Promote Housing Choices. This initiative complements the investments made by the Department of Housing and Community Development in affordable housing production across the state, and supports local government actions to meet the demands of a growing and aging population in Massachusetts.
More information on Housing Choice and a list of the communities are available here in the Administration’s announcement.