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Grassroots groups becoming a force in housing advocacy

Multifamily Housing

Grassroots groups becoming a force in housing advocacy

Citizens alarmed over high home prices and rents are counteracting NIMBYism

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | June 3, 2024
Grassroots groups becoming a force in housing advocacy
Photo: Pixabay

A growing movement of grassroots organizing to support new housing construction is having an impact in city halls across the country.

Fed up with high housing costs and the commonly hostile reception to new housing proposals, advocacy groups have sprung up in many communities to attend public meetings to speak in support of developments. A Boston University housing researcher quoted in a Boston Globe article says these groups are having a notable impact on housing politics in Massachusetts.

The nationwide YIMBY (Yes in My Backyard) movement has helped to prompt zoning changes in many states, both red and blue. While some states including Massachusetts, which recently implemented a rezoning mandate in communities served by the Boston area’s public transportation service, are taking action on the state level; much of the work to spur more housing construction has to be done on the local level.

That’s where these pro-housing groups can have a real impact. If local officials hear positive takes on new development as well as opposing voices, they will be more likely to support new housing construction in their communities.

Lack of housing is an urgent problem in many communities around Boston, the Globe reported. For example, over the last decade, Waltham, a Boston suburb, has added more than 10,000 jobs, but only 1,600 housing units.

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