Roosevelt @ Boston Monthly Update and Save the Date: June 18!

Our June housing policy event will be on Wednesday, June 18. Further details will follow. This event will give us an opportunity to consider what we’ve learned so far and develop ideas into action.

May Housing Event Recap
Housing Policy Event Old South Church Reduced In May, we met at the historic Old South Church in Copley Square to hear from Larry Field. Larry is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. His presentation provided an overview of state government’s role in promoting affordable housing. The administration is targeting certain areas near Boston for Smart Growth development (high-density, affordable housing near public transit). Larry described Assembly Square and West Concord Village as examples of where this strategy is currently being implemented.

Member Research
At the May housing event, we also heard from some of our members who conducted research on zoning issues. You can find links to their research below.

  • John Dante and Max Bauer researched the administration of zoning at the local level by providing information on several Massachusetts cities.
  • Alex Lessin researched barriers to zoning reform, such as the multiple jurisdictions (state, federal, and local) that control zoning and the requirement of a 2/3 majority at town meetings to change zoning rules.
  • Alexander Lew also looked at an example of successful zoning by comparing Arlington County, VA, with neighboring Montgomery County, MD.
  • Jamie Minton provided an overview of the state-level zoning laws that apply to most municipalities in Massachusetts
  • Matthew Robare provided an example of successful zoning. Japan’s zoning is controlled by the national government and includes allowances for multiple uses in its zoning districts. The zoning rules are simpler and less bureaucratic than in the United States.
  • Jeanne Tilley looked at zoning in Cambridge, MA, reporting on the city’s housing goals, policies, and results.

Transportation and Smart Growth Forum
On June 4th, the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance hosted a gubernatorial candidate forum on transportation and smart growth. Five candidates answered questions about a host of topics ranging from climate change to transportation mode shift and building more affordable housing across the Commonwealth. This well-attendant event underscores the importance of housing and development issues to our state — all the more reason for Roosevelt Institute @ Boston to continue our housing policy work! Check out’s Twitter page for live tweets of the entire debate.

News Items

We hope to see you at our next housing event on June 18. Please feel free to email us with any questions!

Fondly, and in remembrance of our soldiers’ sacrifice on this day 70 years ago, your Boston Core Team,
Alex, Jeanne, Gavin, Eric, and Erik

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