The Department of Housing and Community Development held a webinar on Sept. 8 to help local officials understand and comply with the recently released Multi-Family Zoning Requirements for MBTA Communities.

The webinar and accompanying slides explain the new zoning regulations, key changes made in the final guidelines, compliance timelines, and technical assistance resources.

Section 3A of the Zoning Act (Ch. 40A), enacted as part of the 2021 economic development law, requires MBTA communities to have at least one zoning district of reasonable size near a transit station in which multifamily housing is permitted as of right — and to meet other criteria set forth in the statute — or risk a loss of eligibility for funding from the state’s MassWorks program, Housing Choice Initiative, or Local Capital Projects Fund.

The DHCD released draft compliance guidelines last Dec. 15 and the final rules on Aug. 10.

All 175 MBTA communities must achieve at least interim compliance — by submitting an action plan — by Jan. 31, 2023.

The Massachusetts Housing Partnership will be offering technical assistance through its 3A TA program for compliance on issues such as siting and mapping, calculating capacity requirements, drafting zoning bylaws and ordinances and community engagement. The MHP will be holding a series of nine weekly webinars titled “More Than Compliance: Multifamily Districts That Work in Your Community” beginning on Sept. 21.

View the DHCD webinar for MBTA communities

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