NEW: MBTA zoning technical assistance & MHP's Complete Neighborhoods Initiative. MORE

Housing Institute 2021

Now in its 14th year, this intensive training is designed to actively engages participants in discussion and problem-solving activities related to affordable housing development in Massachusetts. The event is for local leaders, municipal officials, volunteers, and employees in suburban communities, rural communities, and Gateway Cities.

Normally a two-day event held at Devens, this was the first time MHP held the event virtually. The training was held three consecutive Thursdays in June. The overarching theme of the conference was how eliminating barriers and addressing segregation can lead communities towards more complete neighborhoods. 

Full program agenda

Day One - Eliminating barriers, creating inclusive communities

Featured speakers included Jarred Johnson of TransitMatters, planners Jennifer Raitt of Arlington and Darlene Wynne of Beverly, Isabel Cruz of MHP's ONE Mortgage, Jennifer Gilbert of Housing Navigator, and representatives from coUrbanize, which use technology to increase participation in the municipal process.

Day Two - Ending segregation, fixing zoning 

Session two on Thursday, June 10 featured national zoning expert Dr. Jessica Trounstine explaining how segregation has been baked into our national and local policies. Following Trounstine, local experts discussed techniques to overcome exclusionary zoning at the local level. These sessions featured Karina Milchman (Metropolitan Area Planning Council) and Chris Kluchman (Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development), Jeremy Lake of Union Studio, and Nate Kelly of the Horsley Witten Group.

Day Three - Create complete neighborhoods

Session three on Thursday, June 17 featured Dr. Tracy Corley, Director of Research and Partnerships, Healthy and Resilient Communities Program, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) who discussed how the pandemic deepened and exposed injustices that communities have been facing before COVID-19. Dr. Corley discussed the importance of centering equity in land use planning and development in communities to ensure that people have access to housing, jobs, activities, and amenities that lead to strong livelihoods and quality of life. Next, we heard three different communities' strategy and approach to tackle housing, mobility, and climate crises with TOD. Featured speakers include, Tom Hopper, Director of Research & Analytics, MHP’s Center for Housing Data, Laura Smead, AICP, Town Planner, Town of Canton, Catherine Feerick, Economic Development Director, City of Attleboro, and Christine McCall, AICP, Assistant City Manager/DPD Director, City of Lowell. Finally, MHP's Christine Madore, AICP, Senior Development Manager, explores the benefits of creating and supporting Complete Neighborhoods.