Sherborn Selectman Paul DeRensis reiterates MMA’s support of Gov. Baker’s housing bill during Local Government Advisory Commission meeting on June 12.

A housing production bill filed by Gov. Charlie Baker and redrafted by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing (H. 4290) failed to pass either chamber before the end of formal legislative sessions on July 31.

The MMA and other stakeholders had consistently voiced strong support for the bill, while some advocates said it did not do enough.

House and Senate negotiators were reportedly close to an  agreement when time ran out. Although the formal session has ended, the MMA is hopeful that legislators will continue to work toward sending a bill to Gov. Baker for his signature during informal sessions.

The MMA and a coalition of realtors, home builders and developers continued to meet with legislators until the very end of the formal session, communicating strong support for the bill, which they described as a targeted approach to housing production.

In contrast to previous legislative proposals, the governor’s bill would not require cities and towns to adopt any particular zoning scheme, but instead would reduce the two-thirds vote threshold to a majority threshold for approval of particular zoning bylaws and ordinances focused on housing production. The MMA argued that this was a balanced tool that would let cities and towns move forward more effectively on local housing initiatives while retaining community participation in the process.

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