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Maze of zoning regulations amounts to a paper wall that blocks housing

In a 2019 study MHP helped fund, researcher Amy Dain examined zoning codes and housing plans in 100 Eastern Mass. municipalities and found a maze of regulations that she said amounts to a "paper wall" that more often than not serves to block multifamily housing even when it is nominally permitted by zoning. Dain also found that very little land is zoned for multi-family housing, and what is zoned for multifamily is often built out to the capacity, leaving little room for growth.




Who Participates in Local Government? Evidence from Meeting Minutes

One of the Center for Housing Data's favorites is this 2017 study by Katherine Levine Einstein, Maxwell Palmer and David Glick. The researchers combed three years worth of meeting minutes from 97 cities and towns in the region, and found nearly two-thirds of residents who stood up to speak about proposed housing developments did so to oppose them, while just 14 percent spoke in support. You could call this the appetizer study to Amy Dain's 2019 study that suggested that the maze of zoning regulations in communities around Greater Boston amounts to a paper wall that more often than not discourages multifamily development.




The Color of Wealth in Boston

The study was done in 2015 but the data in it is still often used as a lead anecdote to illustrate how decades of systemic racism has put people of color - and especially Blacks - behind the eight ball when it comes to net worth. The study by the Boston Fed, Duke University found that the median net worth for non-immigrant African-American households in the Greater Boston region is $8 while the median net worth for Greater Boston whites is $247,500. The data disparity was brought to light in the 2017 Boston Globe's award-winning seven-part series on race.




Housing Choice Initiative Small Town Grants - FY2019

On Oct. 11, 2018, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $984,000 in funding to 12 communities under its Housing Choice Initiative (HCI) Small Town Grants Program. These grants were available to small towns with a 2016 population under 7,000. Here is a list of communities and the housing and infrastructure projects that will be supported. MHP is providing staff and financial support to HCI.

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