Congratulations to Robin Ward of Mid-Cape Home Centers and HBRAMA Secretary for her appointment by Governor Baker to the Economic Development Planning Council. See press release here. State law requires a new economic development plan formulated and signed by the governor within the first year of a new administration, and the Council is formed to provide input in the development of a new economic development plan, which the council will approve and present to Governor Baker to guide economic policy over the next four years. As a part of this effort, both Lt. Governor Polito and Secretary Kennealy of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development have been co-hosting regional engagement sessions across the state both last month and this month to obtain public input in the development of a new economic development plan. The final three Regional Economic Development Engagement Sessions are: Cape & Islands on June 4, Berkshires on June 13, and now the MetroWest with Senate President Karen Spilka on June 25. There is still time to sign up for all three of these sessions by registering here. We thank Robin Ward for representing the HBRAMA, and for participating, on this effort.

Report on the State of Multi-Family Zoning in Massachusetts to be Presented on June 4

As a part of collaborative effort among the HBRAMA and others over the past year, the multi-family zoning research effort authored by policy researcher Amy Dain and entitled the “State of Multi-family Zoning in Greater Boston” is being released on June 4. The paper is based upon Dain’s research on the local zoning and permitting of multi-family housing in the 100 cities and towns outside Boston, and provides unique data on what is happening “on the ground.” In conjunction with the release of this long-awaited report, both Representative Kevin Honan and Senator Brendan Crighton, Chairs of the Joint Committee on Housing, will be co-hosting an event on Tuesday, June 4, 10:00 AM-11:30 AM at the State House, Room 428. Following Dain’s presentation, a panel including HBRAMA Member Jeff Rhuda of Symes Associates, will discuss the data and its policy implications. In addition to Jeff Rhuda, others serving on the panel will include: Tim Reardon, Data Services Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Lisa Wong, Winchester Town Manager and former Mayor of Fitchburg. HBRAMA Members are encouraged to attend, and a flyer with registration information can be found here

Utility Interconnection Working Group Convening June 18, 2019

On June 18, the Interconnection Working Group will be convening on June 18, 2019 to continue the efforts of the HBRAMA. The Interconnection Working Group established under former DPU Chair Angela O’Conner was successful in addressing many issues impeding the development community’s ability to build projects in a timely and cost effective manner. Thanks to the efforts of Utility Subcommittee Co-Chairs Mark Leff of Salem Five, as well as Russ Leonard of Leonard Electric, Ben Fierro of Lynch & Fierro, and other Members of the Utility Subcommittee, the Interconnection Working Group will continue under new DPU Chair Matthew Nelson. The HBRAMA continues to commit its resources to continue the excellent dialogue created through this Working Group to date. 

HBRAMA Leadership Meets with Lieutenant Governor Polito to Discuss Housing Policy

As noted in the April Edition of On The Level, members of HBRAMA leadership met with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito to discuss housing issues facing the industry. Attending on behalf of the HBRAMA were: President Hunter Marosits; former President Gary Campbell, GAC Chair John Smolak, former President and Utility Subcommittee Chair Mark Leff, Jeff Rhuda of Symes Associates, and our Association lobbyists, Patricia Lynch and Ben Fierro. We are fortunate to have a Lt. Governor who knows the housing and building issues facing the industry, and who is taking proactive steps with the Administration to remove barriers to housing production.  As a follow-up to that meeting, President Marosits delivered a letter summarizing our main comments from that meeting which can be found here .  We hope to follow up and to continue to work with the Lt. Governor and others within the Administration on these critical issues in the near future.