Housing Committee 

The 495/MetroWest Partnership’s Housing Committee focuses on the issue of housing in the region, addressing topics including but not limited to affordable housing, workforce housing, senior housing, transit-oriented and mixed-use development, zoning as it pertains to housing, and the impact of housing on the region’s economy and resources.

Draft Vision and Priorities Statement on Housing, June 28th Meeting

The state's housing crunch carries significant economic risk for the 495/MetroWest region. The Housing Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership is leading the development of a consensus "Vision and Priorities" statement for the organization, which will establish the Partnership's vision and core beliefs on the subject of housing, as well as outline specific actions that should be taken to address the situation.

The draft Housing Vision and Priorities statement is available for review at this link. The draft was developed by the Housing Committee's Co-Chairs, working in tandem with Partnership staff. Your feedback is sought and welcomed; the document has not yet been acted upon by the Board of Directors of the 495/MetroWest Partnership, and at this time does not represent the organization’s formal position. Your feedback will help inform the organization's position prior to ratification by the Board. 

You are invited to utilize this online form to offer comments on the draft; comments may also be submitted via email to Executive Director Jason Palitsch via email at [email protected]. Please note that anonymous comments will not be considered. 

The Housing Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership will meet virtually on Friday, June 28th at 9:00 AM to review and discuss the proposed draft; feedback received during the discussion will be taken under advisement. This meeting is open to any interested 495/MetroWest stakeholder; click here to register

Past Meetings & Events

Housing Committee Discussion with Secretary Augustus: The Commonwealth’s first Housing Secretary in more than 30 years, Edward M. Augustus, Jr., addressed the 495/MetroWest Partnership’s Housing Committee on November 8th. Secretary Augustus was appointed in May to lead the newly-created Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities. Earlier in the year, Governor Healey filed Article 87 legislation to create the new Executive Office, which moved the Department of Housing and Community Development out of the former Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development into the new secretariat. This new cabinet-level secretariat is solely dedicated to housing, and to driving solutions to create more homes and lower costs. Secretary Augustus discussed the administration's recent Housing Bond Bill, and the relationship between housing and economic development. 

Housing Committee Meeting June 28th, 2023: The Housing Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership met virtually on Wednesday, June 28th at 8:30 AM to examine and discuss refreshing regional housing priorities identified by the Suburban Edge Community Commission (SECC). The SECC was established by the Legislature in 2015 to examine the development challenges facing suburban edge communities in the 495/MetroWest region and determine how the Commonwealth’s programs and initiatives can address their needs. One of the key topics addressed by the Commission was Housing. The commission published its final report in 2018. As an early step towards the 495/MetroWest Partnership's goal of identifying a regional strategy to increase housing diversity, our Housing Committee reviewed the status of housing-related issues identified in the SECC report, as well as the status of strategies and approaches recommended by the report to assess which have been implemented, which remain to be addressed, and which merit reconsideration. 

Draft Guidance for Multi-family Zoning Requirements for MBTA Communities: On Monday, March 28th, 2022, the 495/MetroWest Partnership and the Middlesex 3 Coalition co-hosted a presentation regarding the Commonwealth’s Draft Guidance for Multi-family Zoning Requirements for MBTA Communities. Click here to view a recording of the presentation. Enacted as part of the economic development bill in January 2021, state law now requires that any MBTA Community shall have at least one zoning district of reasonable size in which multi-family housing is permitted as of right. In December 2021, DHCD released draft guidelines for MBTA Communities regarding these new multi-family zoning requirements. The presentation was led by Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, Chris Kluchman of the Department of Housing and Community Development, and Clark Ziegler of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership. Additional resources:

Transit Oriented Development Forum: The Housing Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted a virtual forum focused on Transit Oriented Development on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021. Panelists included Erika Oliver Jerram, Acting Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Framingham; Jamie Hellen, Town Administrator for the Town of Franklin; and Christopher McGoldrick, Town Planner for the Town of Grafton. The conversation focused on recent and in-progress TOD projects, as well as long-term visioning centered around Commuter Rail stations. Click here to view a recording of the discussion

Housing Submarkets Presentation & Discussion: On June 9th, the Housing Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted a presentation and discussion with MAPC focused on their Housing Submarkets study, and submarket-specific strategies to meet housing needs and demand through housing and affordable housing production, preservation, and housing stability protections. A housing submarket is a collection of neighborhoods with similar housing stock and housing market characteristics. These characteristics contribute to who can find, afford, and remain in suitable housing in that neighborhood. Presenting on behalf of MAPC were Jessie Partridge Guerrero, Research Manager at MAPC, and Karina Oliver-Milchman, AICP, Chief of Housing & Neighborhood Development. Click here to view a recording of this presentation and discussion

Housing Committee Kickoff Session: The Housing Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted its first session on Thursday, March 25th. Click here to view a recording of the session. We hosted two presentations, each followed by a Question and Answer period:
  • Amy Dain, Consultant, Dain Research, and author of The State of Zoning for Multi-Family Housing in Greater Boston, presented on the state of multi-family housing in the region and potential strategies going forward.
  • Chris Kluchman, Deputy Director of the Community Services Division at the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), presented an overview of the state’s new Housing Choice legislation and its implementation. Chris Kluchman's presentation can be downloaded via this link.