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What can Massachusetts do about the housing crisis?

BOSTON – What can Massachusetts do about the housing crisis?

Gov. Kim Driscoll joined WBZ-TV to discuss the state's push for affordable housing and how the increasing number of migrants arriving at shelters in Massachusetts is affecting housing.

MBTA Community Act

Driscoll commented on the backlash Gov. Maura Healey's administration has received against the administration MBTA Community ActThis means that cities and municipalities have to adapt their development plans to allow more multi-family homes

Driscoll said she believes push back makes more headlines than the number of communities that agree to the plan.

“The main issue that people talk about is the high cost of housing, the unaffordability, even in places where housing is more affordable, it's not more affordable to the people who live there, maybe in places outside of the greater Boston area “So we see this as an opportunity for collaboration,” Driscoll said.

Migrants in Massachusetts

Driscoll was also asked if they would receive priority for public housing given the recent arrival of immigrant families in Massachusetts?

“If you're considered homeless, you're at the top of the list. It's going to depend on what status they fit into in terms of taking any kind of priority. We have a significant number of Massachusetts residents in our shelters, so there's plenty of housing, but most importantly, we want people to have a path to independence,” Driscoll said. “How do we get work permits? How do we get people out of shelters and out of congested places as quickly as possible? These folks want to work and we know we have a job. We're trying to make those connections, we've been successful in many ways, and we're continuing to push the federal government for the resources and expedited work permits that we need.”

Driscoll optimistic

Overall, Driscoll says there is reason for optimism in the search for affordable housing.

“We are optimistic. We feel like Massachusetts is coming together as a team and there is no problem we can't solve. “This is a difficult problem that has been worked on for decades,” she said. “But we are committed to making sure we get moving.”

Anna Harden

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