Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker was the keynote speaker at MAR’s 33rd Annual Margaret C. Carlson Realtor® Day on Beacon Hill. Governor Baker is the first sitting governor to address Realtors since Governor Mitt Romney in 2003. The Governor focused his remarks on the need for housing production to meet the state’s inventory crisis.
He started out his remarks by recognizing Realtors® as having a seat at the table when it comes to working to create more housing in the state, “I am … very appreciative of the role that you play as a critical partner with us in dealing with the housing crisis here in the commonwealth. Your endorsement and your support of the Housing Choice bill is an important reason why we are optimistic that this landmark housing production legislation can come to my desk sometime before the end of this legislative session,” he said.
Realtors® understand first-hand the difficulties that buyers, sellers and renters have when there is not enough homes for sale. It makes it difficult for everyone who needs a place to live. Governor Baker expressed his understanding of the problem and explained what he wants to do, “Housing is a hard problem, but in Massachusetts we like to solve hard problems. I do believe, at this point in time, we have come up with a solution that people can get behind and put to work. We want to build 135,000 units of housing over the course of the next 6 or 7 years, and this legislation that we proposed is a comprehensive strategy to get us there.”
The Governor then focused on his Housing Choice program and the need for looking at reforming zoning as critical to meeting his goal, “More than 67 municipalities qualified and earned the Housing Choice designation last month. They are pledging to help us meet the housing challenge. However, we need one critical reform to make the most impact. We need to make it easier to change zoning and grant special permits to allow housing production.”
With end of the legislative session rapidly closing, Governor Baker emphasized the need to getting his housing legislation passed, “The legislative session is ending in less than two months, and we cannot leave housing as unfinished business. The housing issue is too important to our economy, to our communities, and to our future. It is too important to the families that need homes.”
Click here for a video produced by the Governor Bakers press office from the event.