HBRAMA Immediate Past President Jeffery Brem has been appointed by Governor Healey to serve on the Commission on Unlocking Housing Production. Healey issued an executive order last October establishing the Commission to recommend changes to state and local laws to boost the production of housing that is affordable across a wide range of incomes and available throughout a broad spectrum of neighborhoods.
The Commission will produce a report to the Governor and Lt. Governor that will include:
- An analysis of state and local legislation, regulations, and practices that influence the development of housing and the ways in which they can be revised to increase the supply of housing. Such legislation and regulations may include zoning bylaws and ordinances; subdivision rules; state and local environmental laws and regulations; state and local building, sanitary and fire safety codes; and permitting procedures, costs, and timeframes.
- An assessment of how state zoning, building, sanitary, fire, subdivision, and environmental laws and related regulations could be clarified to avoid interpretations that unnecessarily or intentionally impede the development of housing.
- Recommendations for legislative, regulatory, and policy change to facilitate housing production.
It is anticipated that the Commission will create working committees to investigate specific types of statutes, regulations, and practices relevant to the production of housing, including zoning, subdivision, building and environmental restrictions, which may include the State Building Code, Title 5 of the State Environmental Code, and local wastewater disposal ordinances. Brem was chosen by the Governor because as a licensed professional engineer as well as a homebuilder and land developer, he will bring a breath of experience and knowledge that will greatly aid the work of these committees.
The other members of the Commission are: Housing and Livable Communities Secretary Ed Augustus (Chair); Administration and Finance Secretary Matt Gorzkowicz; Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao or designee; Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper or designee; Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción; Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle; Richard Marlin, MA Building Trades Council; Levi Reilly, Marcus Partners; Jesse Kanson-Benanav, Abundant Housing MA; David Linhart, Goulston & Storrs; Tamara Small, NAIOP Massachusetts; Jennifer Raitt, Northern Middlesex Council of Governments; Peter Ostroskey, Former State Fire Marshall; Clark Ziegler, MA Housing Partnership.
The Commission is expected to meet twice a month with a goal of producing a report by the end of the year. A copy of Executive Order 622, Establishing the Commission on Unlocking Housing Production can be found [here].