In May 2018, the Town of Weymouth was designated a Housing Choice Community by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Housing Choice Designation rewards cities and towns for producing new housing and/or adopting best practices to promote sustainable housing development.
Housing Choice Designation provides the following benefits to cities and towns:
- Exclusive admission to new Housing Choice Capital Grants.
- Priority access to many Commonwealth grant and capital funding programs such as MassWorks, Complete Streets, MassDOT capital projects, and LAND and PARC grants.
Modeled after the state’s successful Green Communities program, Housing Choice Designation is based on the amount or rate of new housing units produced by a community in the last five years. Municipalities can apply as either a "High Production Community," demonstrating at least 500 new units or a five percent increase in housing stock, or a "Production and Planning Community," showing at least 300 new units or a 3% increase in housing stock with best practices. In 2018, Weymouth qualified as a High Production Community with more than 1,000 new units produced since 2012.
Housing Choice Initiative
The Baker-Polito Administration has identified inadequate housing production as one of the core challenges facing the Commonwealth’s families and economy. Massachusetts home prices have increased at the fastest rate in the nation, and metropolitan Boston rent prices rank among the highest in the country. It has been decades since the state last produced enough housing to keep pace with demand. To address this challenge, the Housing Choice Initiative will deliver more than $10 million in incentives, grant funding, and technical assistance each year to help municipalities drive housing production in all regions of the Commonwealth. The Housing Choice Designation Program is just one part of this larger, multi-pronged initiative to substantially increase housing production in Massachusetts.
The Housing Choice Initiative will track progress toward a new statewide goal of 135,000 new housing units created by 2025, or about 17,000 new units per year. This goal requires sustaining the level of production over the last three years and represents a 26% increase in housing production compared to the last eight years.