The History of the Failed 'Housing Choice' Bill in Massachusetts

The House Choice bill, supported by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, failed to earn approval from the State Legislature this year.

September 11, 2018, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


esfera / Shutterstock

An article by Simón Rios details the short history of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s Housing Choice bill, first proposed in December of last year.

"The legislation would make it easier for municipal bodies to rezone districts to allow for greater housing production," according to Rios. "Instead of the two-thirds supermajority vote now required under state law, a simple majority vote would be enough to make changes to local zoning bylaws."

Despite its relatively modest (according to supporters of the bill) policy actions, the bill failed to gain enough support in the State Legislature to be signed into law. The occasion to look back at the genesis and failure of the bill provides a detailed explainer of development politics in the current housing crisis.

Thursday, August 30, 2018 in WBUR

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