Posted on February 5, 2019
HANOVER --- Perhaps channeling the New England Patriots "we're still here" rallying cry, the South Shore Chamber of Commerce chose the afternoon of the Super Bowl parade to announce that Rockland Trust will contribute $35,000 toward the next phase of the South Shore 2030 Housing Initiative.
The funding will support the chamber's efforts to advocate for housing all over the region, new efforts to get the business community involved and a new web site that will chart progress toward the chamber's goal of 44,000 new homes by 2030. Rockland Trust joins the Massachusetts Housing Partnership and Cape Cod Lumber as key supporters of the chamber's housing initiative.
“Throughout our work in the community to promote housing, we’ve found that everyone is in favor of more housing someplace else,” said Peter Forman, president and CEO of the chamber. “The challenge is to make the case that housing is an economic tool and to convince communities to accept more housing. We think local business leaders are the best people to articulate the need for housing because they have a stake in the community.”
Rockland Trust’s financial support is the bank’s latest contribution to South Shore 2030. Rockland Trust President and CEO Chris Oddleifson has chaired the chamber’s housing working group from the outset and has been a key spokesman behind the initiative. In addition, Rockland Trust Vice President of Commercial Lending Nancy Bailey will be co-chairing the chamber’s housing committee in 2019.
“Without housing, our economy isn’t going to grow,” said Oddleifson, who hosted the event at the bank’s Hanover headquarters. “For example, we employ 1,200 and hire about 200 per year. We go outside the region to recruit and many of the candidates we speak to are psyched about coming here to work for the bank but not so psyched about what it costs to live here. That’s not good.”
The chamber’s Courtney Bjorgaard also unveiled a new web site that will chart the South Shore 2030 initiative – www.southshore2030.com.
The event was attended by many members of chamber's housing committee and local leaders such as state Sen. Patrick M. O'Connor. "There's no question we need to build more housing and we understand that there is local control," said O'Connor. "Given this, we need to come to a compromise on what works for communities and what works for the region in terms of building housing and a strong economy."
MHP has been a supporter of the South Shore Chamber’s 2030 Housing Initiative from the start. MHP has provided financial support and Director of Community Assistance Susan Connelly has been a member of the chamber’s working group.
"Clearly outlining 2019 initiatives, calling upon business leaders to get behind it, and establishing a web site to track progress are the latest examples of the South Shore Chamber's ongoing dedication to this issue and the future well-being of the region," said Connelly. "In our work around the state, the chamber stands alone in recognizing that building local support and breaking the zoning logjam are crucial to building apartments and smaller homes in walkable neighborhoods near transportation and amenities, just the type of housing millennials and retiring baby boomers want."