Efforts to advance a ballot question seeking to establish a broad spectrum of policies related to the rental housing market, including the legalization of rent control, gathered less than 15% of the required signatures over six weeks of outreach. With the November 22 signature deadline looming, the campaign was unable to gather the remaining 60,000+ signatures required and has suspended operations. This means that the question will not go before voters in 2024.
As NAIOP CEO Tamara Small told The Boston Globe over the weekend, rent control will not address our housing crisis. Massachusetts residents are facing a housing crisis brought on by decades of underproduction. Annual housing production in Massachusetts has sharply declined since the 1970s despite increases in population and employment. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from a peak of just over 30,000 units produced per year in the 1970s, the Commonwealth fell to under 20,000 units produced per year, with a low of 15,000 units, in the 2010s. In September 2023, according to The Boston Globe, the City of Boston, an economic bellwether for the state, saw a 43% decline in permits to build new housing when compared to the same month last year.
The impact of this underproduction is clear: the median sales prices for condos and single-family homes is now over $500,000 statewide, and $900,000 in just the Greater Boston area. The Commonwealth must do all it can to increase the supply of housing to address this crisis.
NAIOP looks forward to continuing our work with the Healey-Driscoll Administration and the Legislature to advance production-based solutions that will actually ensure housing access for every resident in our Commonwealth.
The NAIOP Advocacy Team is working on numerous initiatives at the state and local level. If you have questions regarding these, or other topics, please feel free to reach out to NAIOP’s CEO Tamara Small or NAIOP’s Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs, Anastasia Daou.