Getting to Yes: Zoning Under Housing Choice [Video]

Recently-passed Housing Choice legislation made it easier to pass multifamily zoning in Massachusetts--but how can municipalities build support for housing initiatives?

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the Citizen's Housing & Planning Association (CHAPA), and Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) hosted this informational session and Q&A on Friday, June 4.

Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox gave a welcome address. "Housing prices in Massachusetts have risen faster than any other state," she said. "We need to build more housing of almost every kind, and we especially need it near transit, in town centers, and in every region."

Attendees heard from DrT, bestselling author and an expert on making the case for housing. She emphasized key strategies for convincing people that housing is beneficial and necessary:

  1. Make the story sticky: repeat it until people understand the benefit
  2. Give people ways to be part of the story by showing how Housing Choice related to their lives
  3. Emphasize the power and opportunity of the moment and Massachusetts' strong new legislation

Watch the recording to hear DrT's remarks in more detail!

In the final portion of the webinar, a panel of municipal leaders discussed strategies to advance residential zoning efforts and lessons learned during their rezoning efforts. The panel included:

  • Tom Ambrosino, Chelsea City Manager
  • Mayor Kim Driscoll, Salem
  • Kevin Kalkut, Norfolk Select Board
  • Lisa Wong, Winchester Town Manager

This is the second webinar on Housing Choices hosted by MAPC, CHAPA, and MHP in 2021. A May 6 webinar focused on the impacts of Housing Choice on zoning. Click here to watch and learn more.

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