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Housing Institute for Gateway Cities 2021

MHP's Gateway Cities Housing Institute was held over three days in October & November 2021, in response to feedback received during a series of statewide listening tours which concluded earlier this year. MHP heard repeatedly that it should hold a Housing Institute for gateway cities as it has for suburban and rural communities for the last 15 years.

Our binder includes speakers' bios and slides, and each day's agenda.

Day 1: Housing Production Tools

Session 1: Addressing Distressed Properties - Hear about how public and nonprofit organizations partnered with the Holyoke Office of Planning and Economic Development and OneHolyoke CDC to address property disinvestment. Speakers: Don Bianchi of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations, Francis Jhoan Goyes Flor, policy innovation associate at MassHousing, Aaron Vega, City of Holyoke and Lynne Sweet of LDS Consulting.

Session 2: Leveraging State Programs and Tools - Developers and state officials share best practices in using Gateway-specific tools like HDIP, Commonwealth Builder, and Neighborhood Hub under different market conditions. Speakers: Bill Reyelt and Stephen Pantalone of DHCD, Greg Watson of MassHousing and Dave Traggorth, developer.


Day 2: Create Opportunity with Local Assets

Session 1: Investment Without Displacement - Local housing practitioners share ideas on proactively planning to reduce displacement and strategies to protect vulnerable residents while promoting economic mobility. Speakers: Etel Haxhiaj, Central Mass. Housing Alliance and Emily Innes of Innes Associates.

Session 2: Leveraging Public Land for Affordable Housing - Experts will outline effective permitting pathways and potential landmines when redeveloping public land for affordable housing. Speaker: Laura Shufelt, MHP.


Day 3: Unlocking Local Potential

Session 1: Unlocking Potential with Housing Tools - The scale of our housing crisis spans the Commonwealth and the country, but advocates and practitioners have responded by proposing tools and policies to address issues from the bottom up. Speakers: Antron Watson and Austin Hodge from AARP Massachusetts, Derek Thomas from Incremental Developers and Hannah Carrillo, City of Somerville.

Session 2: Getting to Yes - The panel will share their stories in facilitating the often challenging road of adopting of local housing policies, including Inclusionary Zoning and creating a local housing trust. Speakers: Evan Spetrini, City of Malden, Whitney Demetrius, CHAPA, Jesse Kanson-Benanav, Abundant Housing MA.