LEARNING AREA: Community Organizing and Planning, Economic Development, Real Estate Development
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Fair Housing and Equity Assessment for Metropolitan Boston






Home matters. The places where we live give us access to a network of resources that includes schools, transportation options, jobs, and recreational opportunities. The Metropolitan Boston region also gives us access to a broader network of opportunities, provided that no unfair barriers exist to accessing those opportunities. The ability to have mobility in all of these dimensions of opportunity is a human right, and fair access to housing opportunities is one of these rights. The principle of fair housing is to ensure that all people – regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, family status, source of income and other individual and personal characteristics – have equal opportunity to exercise choice in their selection of a home. This includes access to housing opportunities in diverse neighborhoods and community types and housing that is appropriate to diverse needs. The objective of the Regional Fair Housing and Equity Assessment (FHEA) is to ensure that MetroFuture, the regional plan for the Metropolitan Boston region, links fair housing considerations with issues of transportation, employment, education, land use planning, environmental justice, and access to housing—consistent with Livability Principles developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The FHEA follows the format required by HUD’s Fair Housing Planning Guide and the HUD Office for Sustainable Communities Regional Fair Housing and Equity Assessment guidelines. The FHEA examines regional demographics and conditions and patterns of segregation and considers how activities, resources, and policies at the local and regional levels impact fair access to housing opportunity, including access to affordable housing. The FHEA study area encompasses the 164-municipality Metropolitan Boston study area referenced in MetroFuture, which also includes the 101-municipality MAPC statutory planning region. The FHEA was prepared in concert with the Regional Housing Plan (RHP), which describes the nature and extent of the region’s unmet housing needs and evolving challenges. The RHP further identifies the constraints and opportunities that will enable (or prevent) the region from accommodating MAPC’s projected 2030 housing needs consistent with the MetroFuture vision. Combined, the FHEA and the RHP provide a baseline analysis of regional housing needs and challenges and identify resources, incentives, sanctions, policy changes, and regulations that are needed to advance equity, sustainability, and smart growth goals for the Metropolitan Boston region