Baker Calls for More Housing

Governor Charlie Baker

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker is urging lawmakers to make it easier for cities and towns to approve new housing developments.

Baker testified Tuesday before the Legislature’s housing committee on a bill he filed that would allow communities to alter zoning restrictions through a simple majority vote of a governmental body, such as city council or town meeting.

The Republican said current state law requiring a two-thirds vote for zoning changes pose major barriers for communities seeking to increase the supply of affordable housing. The result, he added, are some of the nation’s highest housing prices and rents.

Several Democratic mayors joined Baker in calling for passage of the bill.

Some lawmakers and housing advocates argued the plan doesn’t do enough to help low-income people stuck on waiting lists for affordable housing.

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