Addressing Greater Boston’s Housing Crunch

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Greater Boston’s housing crisis has emerged as one of the most pressing policy challenges for the region.  Building enough homes for the growing workforce and retiring baby-boomers has proven challenging.  In 2004, I conducted a study for Pioneer Institute of residential land use regulations in all of the communities within 50 miles of Boston to understand what was holding the region back from building enough houses. As policymakers consider new solutions to the decades-old challenge, I have been receiving a number of calls and emails for information about my research on zoning.

I have been referring policymakers, advocates, and reporters to two reports:

Residential Land Use Regulation in Eastern Massachusetts: A Study of 187 CommunitiesThis report covers the technical details of specific regulations including:

-Single family zoning

-Multi-family zoning

-Cluster/flexible zoning

-Inclusionary zoning

-Accessory apartments

-Building caps and phasing

-Road design

-Wetlands regulation

-Septic system regulation

Housing and Land Use Policy in Massachusetts: Reforms for Affordability, Sustainability, and Superior Design. This report provides an analysis of the zoning and road design standards in the 187 communities, an overview of past policy initiatives, and suggestions for reform.

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Recently I wrote an article for CommonWealth Magazine about multi-family housing in my own neighborhood, referencing the research I conducted with Pioneer Institute.

If you have any questions about the research, please contact me at dainresearch@gmail.com.

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