The Department of Housing and Community Development has opened the 2023 Housing Choice Communities Designation application period, with applications due by March 3 at 5 p.m.

The Housing Choice Initiative rewards municipalities that have produced certain rates or amounts of new housing units in the last five years and that adopted best practices related to housing production. Communities that achieve the Housing Choice Community designation have exclusive access to apply for the Housing Choice Grant Program and receive bonus points or other considerations to other participating Housing Choice programs.

The DHCD is highlighting a few notable changes this year:
• 40R or 40Y Starter Home District: While 40Y regulations are still in the works, communities are advised to be aware of the program and its statute (M.G.L. Ch. 40Y).
• Mixed-Use or Cluster Development: Only mixed use that includes housing is eligible for this best practice.
• Local actions that support housing: The DHCD is clarifying examples to include surplus land and uses, such as reuse/redevelopment of housing.
• Chapter 40B pattern or approval: A new best practice has been added related to 40B and pattern of approvals.
• Subsidized Housing Inventory best practices: The DHCD has updated and clarified language for both best practices of 10% SHI threshold and 2.5% SHI increase as it pertains to the Housing Appeals Committee.
• Locally adopted programs that support housing: The DHCD has removed the “Selected a housing best practice as part of a Community Compact” best practice and replaced it with a more specific and measurable best practice.
• Housing Plan Implementation: The Community Compact best practice has been replaced with one related to implementation of housing plan strategies other than those already listed in the best practices.

Questions regarding Housing Choice designation may be directed to