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Baker's Housing Bill Remains Stalled At The State House


Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker continues to call for passage of an initiative he says will help address the state’s housing shortage.

First proposed by Baker in 2017, the bill would allow local zoning changes to be made by a simple majority rather than the two-thirds vote current law demands.

The idea is to make it easier to build typically more affordable multi-family housing.

Housing advocates complain the bill doesn’t go far enough.  Others, including Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno want an exemption for municipalities where more than 10 percent of the housing is deemed to be affordable.

" Cities such as Springfield has done more than its fair share when it comes to affordable housing," said Sarno.

Baker has set a goal to build 135,000 new housing units by 2025.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.