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Ziegler cites MHP's technical assistance as basis for support of Ch. 40B

Posted on December 4, 2019

BOSTON --- In recent testimony to the state's Joint Committee on Housing, Executive Director Clark Ziegler cited MHP's long history of providing technical assistance to communities as a basis for defending the state's affordable housing law known as Chapter 40B.

"MHP was founded to help  community leaders tailor local solutions to address their own housing needs," said Ziegler during his testimony at the statehouse on Dec. 3. "In that role, we have extensive experience with Chapter 40B. We have worked with local officials in 325 cities and towns and have also provided professional consultants at no cost to assist 210 communities in the review of 349 local applications for Ch. 40B comprehensive land use permits."

Ziegler was testifying in support of the state law known as Ch. 40B, which allows multi-family developers to override local zoning if the community's supply of affordable housing is less than 10 percent. Ziegler told the joint committee that, in lieu of a lack of local zoning, Ch. 40B has worked well as a zoning mechanism to increase affordable housing. He cited more than 40 small-scale affordable housing developments that communities initiated and saw through with MHP's help, and noted the only zoning mechanism available to make it happen was 40B.

He also said the law is needed now more than ever, given the state's housing crisis, and urged legislators "to reject proposed legislation that would modify and weaken the law."

MHP's community assistance team supports communities, housing authorities and non-profits in their efforts to create affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families. MHP publishes and supports the creation of resources that explain the affordable housing process and has created a dedicated web site called Housing Toolbox to educate local officials on how to effectively use techniques and tools to create affordable housing.

MHP also offers direct technical assistance and engages qualified consultants to help local zoning boards of appeals negotiate with Ch. 40B developers.

For more information about MHP's community assistance support, contact Kate Bosse at kbosse@mhp.net.

About MHP: MHP works with communities to create innovative policy and financing solutions that provide affordable homes and better lives for the people of Massachusetts. Since 1990, MHP has provided support and technical assistance to over 300 communities, made over $1.6 billion in loans and commitments for the financing of over 27,000 apartments and has helped over 21,000 buy their first home through its ONE Mortgage Program.