Paying Towns to 'Relax Zoning Rules'

A statewide housing task force recommends paying towns to 'approve new residences near transit stops, in towns centers and abandoned industrial areas.'
November 13, 2003, 12pm PST | Connie Chung
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"The state could help create 30,000 new apartments and houses over the next decade, easing the shortage that makes Massachusetts housing so expensive, if it paid communities to approve new residences near transit stops, in town centers, and in abandoned industrial areas, according to a study released today. The report by the Commonwealth Housing Task Force...blames overly restrictive zoning, rather than a scarcity of land, for the state's high housing prices....To be eligible, cities and towns would have to allow a density of at least 20 apartments per acre or at least eight single-family houses per acre in the newly zoned areas. In buildings with more than a dozen units, 20 percent of the apartments would have to be affordable to those earning 80 percent or less of the area's median income."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 in The Boston Globe
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