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Unlock the Commonwealth blog

Promoting housing & growth policies through analysis, discussion, blogging, debate

Posted on February 22, 2016

"Unlock the Commonwealth" is an ongoing initiative by MHP that provides continuing analysis of how our chronic housing shortage hinders our economy and what polices are needed to achieve housing and economic growth.

MHP's most significant report, "Unlocking the Commonwealth," recommends eight policies that would allow Massachusetts to build the housing it needs to sustain its economy. Many of these recommendations have been included in House 1111, An Act Relative to Housing Production, co-sponsored by state Rep. Kevin G. Honan and state Sen. Jamie Eldridge.

Download the Unlock the Commonwealth report

MHP has set up a dedicated Unlock the Commonwealth web site. The web site features reports on the issue and a blog. For more information, contact MHP's Calandra Clark at 617-330-9944 x336 or go to the Unlock the Commonwealth web site at

Most recent Unlock the Commonwealth blog entries

New UMass Dartmouth study on cost benefits of new housing is timely (March 15, 2016) NEW

Impact of boomer retirements on state's economy (Feb. 17, 2016)

Townhouses could ease rents, help Americans build wealth (Feb. 11, 2016)

State planning in Massachusetts? Back to the future (Jan. 5, 2016)

Other states permitting more multifamily housing (Dec. 21, 2015)

MHP's presentation at public hearing on housing production bill(Sept. 29, 2015)

How state sewer rules hamstring multifamily development (July 10, 2015)

Housing leader Gittelman sees hope in 2 housing bills (June 17, 2015)

Worker migration shows strengths, vulnerabilities of innovation economy (April 6, 2015)

Defining competition key in understanding impact of our housing policies (Mar. 18, 2015)

Regions we compete with for innovation workers permitting more housing (Feb. 25, 2015)

Report refutes brain drain but gives housing short shrift (Jan. 14, 2015)

Recent analysis & study

Unlock the Commonwealth (Nov. 5, 2014)

This report documents how low housing production since the 1980s has caused the state's housing costs to rise faster than the rest of the nation and how this trend threatens to jeopardize the state's economy. It also urges the state legislature to consider eight recommendations that would help the Commonwealth build the housing it needs to realize its full economic potential.

Housing supply & economic prosperity (June 12, 2014)

A presentation by MHP Executive Director Clark Ziegler on the economic impacts of our declining housing production.

White_paperAction on housing key to state's propserity

A white paper by MHP Executive Director Clark Ziegler analyzes why Massachusetts has struggled to compete with the rest of the U.S. and what reforms we can make in our housing, zoning and funding polices to build more housing and ensure our economic prosperity.

More studies on housing and economic growth

Visit our library for more studies by MHP, and other state and national organizations on the relationship between housing and economic growth.