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July

1

2006

Guarding the Town Walls: Mechanisms and Motives for Restricting Multifamily Housing in Massachusetts

This paper uses an unusually rich dataset on land use regulations in 186 Massachusetts cities and towns to test several hypotheses about why municipalities restrict multifamily housing. The results reflect two distinct waves of zoning, each of which used a different mechanism and was shaped by different determinants. Under regulations adopted in the 1940s and 1950s, communities with a large amount of existing multifamily housing, a city council form of government and higher land values tended to be less restrictive. The second wave of regulations, beginning in the 1970s, saw an increased use of special permits to allow multifamily housing and greater restrictiveness by smaller, more affluent communities.

June

25

2006

Zoning: Smart and Affordable

How Communities Have Achieved Affordable Housing in 'Smart' Locations

BOSTON, June 10, 2006 --- Published in June 2006, MHP commissioned land use consultant Phil Herr to analyze the common conditions under which communities have build affordable housing in smart locations.

May

22

2006

Sustaining the Mass Economy: Housing Costs, Population Dynamics and Employment

According to the report’s findings, employment dropped by over 160,000 since 2001; the population has fallen for the past two years in a row, mostly as a result of rapidly rising out-migration to places like New Hampshire, Arizona, and North Carolina; and the loss of population was disproportionately among young workers and their families. We also know that housing prices skyrocketed by 144 percent in Greater Boston between 1995 and 2004 so that the median single family home sold for $376,000 at the end of this period. Meanwhile, Class A apartment rents in the Boston metro region were the most expensive in the country, save those in New York City. Price and rents have stabilized in the past two years, but they remain among the highest in the country.