Bay State housing proposals detailed in Senate report

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BOSTON – Arguing the need for a “revolution in housing production” to keep pace with demand, a report released Wednesday by a Senate committee recommends 19 proposals taking aim at everything from foreclosures to gentrification, homelessness, preservation, production, public housing, support services and zoning.

Along with support for housing-related legislation and expansion of existing programs, the report calls for several new initiatives, including plans to develop “millennial villages” to free up housing stock for working families and to provide state assistance to urban areas and former industrial communities that have experienced blight.

“Massachusetts is currently dealing with a severe housing crisis due in large part to a low rate of housing production which has not kept pace with population growth and needs, soaring rents that have outpaced wages, and the lingering effects of the foreclosure crisis,” the report says. “As a result, there is a shortage of suitable and affordable units for young workers, growing families, and the increasing senior population.”

The renovation of industrial buildings into market-rate housing and the development of “appropriately sized and priced housing for the 20-34 year olds” would serve the joint goals of creating additional housing for middle-income families and freeing up existing stock for them.

The report says that rising costs of apartments in traditional triple-decker buildings have pushed families out of the rental market in Greater Boston as millennials share three- and four-bedroom houses typically occupied by families.

Written by Katie Lannan