The Massachusetts housing market has been building momentum in recent weeks. However, lingering concerns about an inadequate supply of housing units for single families threaten to derail the recovery. The housing shortage hasn’t impacted Shrewsbury to nearly the same degree as Boson, Worcester and other larger municipalities, but the city isn’t immune to the possibility of a housing shortage.
Local lawmakers have pledged to take new steps to expand the housing supply. However, they will have an easier time achieving this vision if they have the support of state lawmakers. The Massachusetts Association of Realtors has called for more support at the state legislature.
Realtors Testify on Behalf of H.O.M.E. Bill
Representatives from the MAR recently testified to the State Legislature to defend Senate Bill 119 (commonly referred to as H.O.M.E.). This bill will expand housing production throughout the state, which will significantly benefit working and middle class families. While efforts would be primarily focused in communities with large housing shortages, the proposed act could benefit Shrewsbury and other small Central MA communities as well.
MAR President Corinne Fitzgerald said that many regulations have hindered housing production. She said that the new bill is necessary to alleviate the problems caused by the housing shortage and ensure the stability of the housing recovery.
“The production of new housing is what we need for Massachusetts to remain competitive in the region, the country and the world,” Fitzgerald testified. “We live in a great state that people want to live in, but the cost of housing is making it more and more difficult to stay here or move here. The H.O.M.E. Bill will remove the barriers that are holding back our ability to produce the housing we need.”
Lawmakers are expected to vote on the bill, because they recognize the need to scale housing production. An April report from The Boston Foundation found that the housing shortage in Boston was driving up the cost of housing throughout the city. The effects have since expanded outside the city borders, which could eventually have an adverse effect on other communities.
Demand for housing in Shrewsbury and other smaller cities is rising as many people look to alternatives as Boston housing prices rise. However, the market in those communities could also implode if new housing developments aren’t initiated.
The Legislature recognizes the need to address these problems and is expected to pass some form of the H.O.M.E. bill. However, they may need to tweak the bill slightly before it can be passed, which means it may take a few months before any noticeable progress is realized.