Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
A special task force established to help determine the structure of a new housing secretariat and inform the process of filling the position has filed its report with Gov. Maura Healey.
Over the course of several meetings in February, the governor’s Housing Working Group “examined housing challenges and opportunities in Massachusetts, considered alternative federal and state responses to housing production, and explored programs and strategies that a new Housing Secretary could pursue to streamline, incentivize, and enhance the production of affordable, equitable, and sustainable housing across the Commonwealth,” the report states.
The report, filed on Feb. 19, outlines 11 recommendations for the new housing secretariat.
“To adequately address the housing crisis, the new Housing Secretary must work with Governor Healey and Lt. Gov. Driscoll to establish bold goals and set concrete plans to rapidly increase housing production and preservation efforts,” the report states. “Intentionality in addressing housing affordability, equity and sustainability will serve as the foundation of the Commonwealth’s future success.”
The 17-member task force, created by an executive order that Healey signed on Jan. 20, was chaired by Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll and included Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao and Administration and Finance Secretary Matthew Gorzkowicz. Municipal representatives were Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, Worcester City Manager Eric Batista, and Provincetown Town Manager Alex Morse. The group’s 11 other members included housing advocates, developers and housing finance organization leaders. Healey convened the group’s first meeting on Feb. 3.
The governor has said she expects to file legislation to create the new secretariat in March. At the Feb. 14 meeting of the Local Government Advisory Commission, Driscoll said a housing secretary isn’t likely to be appointed until this summer.
The Department of Housing and Community Development has not functioned as a separate entity since 1991, having been folded into other executive offices — transportation, environment and, most recently, economic development.
Healey has identified housing as one of her top priorities, saying she is concerned that high housing prices and low inventory will affect the long-term economic competitiveness of the state.