Access to safe, affordable housing is a fundamental human right, as well as a crucial element in the future success of our Commonwealth. The costs of housing have strained the resources of many hard-working people-while forcing too many of our residents, and often their families, into homelessness. High housing costs are also a major cause of the increasing loss of population, particularly among young adults, that is affecting Massachusetts’ future economic vitality.
I have been a strong and consistent advocate for state housing assistance programs under the Department of Housing and Community Development. Additionally, I am supporter of improving the regional transportation network, so that urban centers like New Bedford and Worcester that offer significant amounts of affordable housing are more viable homes for more people who work in Greater Boston.
Although it is important to preserve local controls, I support the basic mechanism of Chapter 40B which helps to increase affordable housing in communities that do not have a sufficient percentage of affordable units. I am in favor of “smart growth” initiatives that offer rewards and planning assistance to help communities absorb greater housing density near centralized public transportation.
As a member of the Belmont Board of Selectmen, I worked diligently to increase the affordable housing stock. I was a major proponent of Belmont’s local inclusionary zoning bylaw; I facilitated the agreement that put affordable units on surplus Town land; and I spent several years working to implement the agreement with McLean Hospital that included affordable housing units within the new developments on their property.
By strengthening our commitment to affordable housing, we will strengthen the well-being of many of our citizens, of our communities, and of our economic future.