Unlock the Commonwealth
"Unlock the Commonwealth" is an ongoing initiative by MHP to promote policies that will allow Massachusetts to build more housing. The initative provides continuing analysis of how our chronic shortage of housing hinders our economy, what are the costs and benefits of increased housing production and what polices are needed to achieve housing and economic growth.
In November, 2014, MHP released its latest report, "Unlocking the Commonwealth." This report identified metro areas that we compete with for innovation industries, compared their employee recruitment rates and housing markets, and recommended eight policies that would allow Massachusetts to build the housing it needs to sustain its economy.
Many of the policy recommendations in the Unlock the Commonwealth report have been included in House 1111, An Act Relative to Housing Production, sponsored by state Rep. Kevin G. Honan. A public hearing on the proposal was held on Sept. 29, with MHP Executive Director Clark Ziegler making a presentation on housing supply in Massachusetts. To see the presentation, click here.
MHP has set up a dedicated Unlock the Commonwealth web site to encourage discussion and will continue to provide reports and analysis to promote better understanding of this issue.
The web site features a blog that focuses on housing and growth issues in Massachusetts and across the U.S. In the latest blog, MHP's Anne Lewis takes a look at metros we compete with for innovation industries, how successful are they at recruitment and what's the state of their housing cost and supply. Click here to read it.
This follows up on a previous blog by MHP's Tom Hopper, who explained why understanding who competition is for innovation workers is the first step in understanding the possible impact of our housing policies on economic growth.
Previously, MHP's Carsten Snow discovers that building permit data for 2014 shows that metro Boston is lagging behind other cities that it competes with for innovation industries and workers. To read Carsten's blog post, click here.
Unlock the Commonwealth blog archive
How state sewer rules hamstring multifamily development (July 10, 2015)
Housing leader Gittelman sees hope in 2 housing bills (June 17, 2015)
Report refutes brain drain but gives housing short shrift (Jan. 14, 2015)
Median income earners struggling to buy homes (Dec. 12, 2014)
Spotlight on young adults trying to make it in Boston (Dec. 4, 2014)
Retiring boomers threaten to short-circuit state's growth (Oct. 9, 2014)
In their own words: Jacobson on why housing growth matters (Sept. 30, 2014)
Seattle: Growth push runs headlong into residents (Sept. 17, 2014)
South Shore begins effort to develop new economic strategy (Sept. 15, 2014)
Yglesias blames blue state exodus on housing supply (Sept. 8, 2014)
Study shows how transportation can mitigate housing costs (Sept. 2, 2014)
Tysons Corner pushing density, community at T stops (Aug. 28, 2014)
Report: More long-distance movers driven by housing costs (Aug. 7, 2014)
Study shows why Boston's costs could chase away work force (July 16, 2014)
Migration patterns show this generation digs density (July 15, 2014)
Report debates pros, cons of Boston's pricey micro units (June 12, 2014)
Londonderry: New model for suburban growth (April 3, 2014)
WBUR report debates impact of micro units (March 20, 2014)
Strengths & limits of depending on innovation ecomomy (March 5, 2014)
Analysis & study
Housing supply & economic prosperity (June 12, 2014)
A presentation by MHP Executive Director Clark Ziegler on the economic impacts of our declining housing production.
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.
Visit our library for more studies by MHP, and other state and national organizations on the relationship between housing and economic growth.