Policy Agenda: Housing
Increasingly, Mass. High Tech Council members cite the high cost of housing in Massachusetts as an impediment to recruiting and retaining employees. Similarly, comparatively high housing costs create risks that individuals who are born, raised and/or educated in Massachusetts will elect to move out of state, thereby depleting Massachusetts’ available workforce and increasing the supply of talented workers in competitor states.
While housing costs are the result of many factors and inputs, it is increasingly apparent that local land use restraints on the production of new housing are a key cause of the misalignment between supply and demand.
Key Data and Metrics
- Housing values in Massachusetts are the 3d highest in the nation (Source: Mass. EOHED/MHP/US Census)
- Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Massachusetts is the most expensive among the 50 states and second only to DC. (Source: Mass. EOHED/MHP/Zillow Research Ctr.)
- Over 2/3 of Massachusetts employers state that home prices and rental costs have affected their ability to recruit qualified candidates. (Source: Mass. EOHED/Northeastern University)
The Council’s Board of Directors has recognized the cost and availability of workforce housing as a public policy challenge facing Massachusetts and identified the Housing Choices legislation filed by Governor Baker on February 27 as an impactful and important first step toward accelerating the production of housing in the Commonwealth. The bill is similar to legislation the Council advocated for in 2018 and would incentivize cities and towns to permit the production of additional transit and make it easier for local authorities to provide zoning relief necessary for the approval of transit-oriented and other housing developments.