15 Boston-Area Mayors Have Signed on to an “Emergency” Housing Plan

Somerville, Arlington, and other communities agreed to ramp up construction, build 185,000 new units of housing by 2030.

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The leaders of 15 cities and towns will follow Boston’s lead, signing on to a plan to significantly ramp up housing construction in response to a shortage deemed an “emergency.”

Collectively, the Greater Boston communities in the Metro Mayors Coalition Regional Housing Task Force plan to add 185,000 units of housing by 2030.

Included in the coalition are Arlington, Boston, Braintree, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Newton, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, and Winthrop.

“Our region is in the midst of housing emergency,” Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone said in a statement. “It is a crisis of housing affordability and availability that has deep and disastrous impacts on individuals and families. And it is not contained by municipal boundaries — it is a problem of such scale and scope that it demands cities, towns, and the state come together to develop bold regional solutions.”

Their emergency housing plan comes after Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced in September he would revise his target upward from 53,000 new units of housing to 69,000. The group, formed last year, estimates Greater Boston will need 435,000 new units of housing by 2040.

“We are at a pivotal time in Greater Boston as our economy continues to grow and thrive, and more people move to our communities,” Walsh said in a statement. “As the region grows, we must ensure our cities and towns keep up with the demand for affordable housing, ensuring families can stay in the communities they love.”

To get it done, the coalition outlines a series of strategies on its website, “ranging from state legislation to local planning and zoning to funding resources to programming to construction techniques to community engagement and beyond.”

“No one strategy will solve the housing crisis,” the coalition says on its site, “and not all strategies are appropriate for all places. But the right combination for the region and its diverse communities will help expand housing diversity and opportunity across the Commonwealth.”