Gov. Maura Healey pledges to boost housing in inaugural address

by Liz Hughes

Massachusetts has a new governor and housing affordability is at the top of her list of priorities.

Gov. Maura Healey was sworn into office Thursday as the first female governor of the Bay State, alongside Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll. 

Healey outlined several goals during her inaugural address, with an ambitious agenda that includes making housing a top priority. 

The high costs of living in Massachusetts and soaring home prices are behind the administration’s agenda that includes creating a new secretary of housing within her first 100 days in office. She also vows to turn state-owned property into housing. 

“I’ve already directed my secretary of administration and finance to identify unused, state-owned land that can be turned into rental housing or homes within one year,” she said in her address. 

Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, told WCVB-TV Channel 5 that to keep Massachusetts competitive, people need to be able to afford to live here and housing production needs to be key. 

It’s no surprise that boosting housing is one of the governor’s key objectives. Throughout her campaign, the issue of housing was often top of mind.

In September, Healey released her plan to tackle the state’s housing crisis, citing concerns that the current housing shortage has driven up home prices to record levels “often in communities that can least afford it.”

“Massachusetts provides abundant job opportunities, world-class health care, and a top tier education system,” Healey said on her website. “Yet, current residents and their families fear that they can no longer afford to live within the communities where they work and send their children to school.”

The plan called for long-term strategies and a multi-pronged approach to help ease housing burdens now. It included: 

  • Establishing a secretary of housing position to lead the growth of housing in Massachusetts. 
  • Establishing a state-led pro-housing campaign educating residents about the housing shortage and advocating for the creation of enhanced housing options. 
  • Taking the opportunity to review and simplify the housing production process in the state. 

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